Staff reporter:: NGO Network for Radio and Communication (BNNRC) has been mobilized Community Radios to observe the World Press Freedom Day on 3 May 2021. The theme of UNESCO is “Information is a public good and as a public good, it needs public support.”
The theme of this year is very timely as misleading information, misinformation, fake news, and rumors are being widely disseminated through unconventional media and social media in recent times. Misinformation, rumors affect the individual and society and have a negative impact. Facilitating life and livelihood through objective and science-based information by preventing information epidemics through effective access to information and communication technology and media is the most important thing in the current situation.
it is time to recognize and promote the conception of information as a public good – as something that helps to advance collective aspirations and which forms the key building block for knowledge. Especially in digital form, a fact ‘consumed’ by one person does not prevent others from also ‘consuming’ it. Information is inherently non-exclusive, although many factors create artificial restrictions – whether these be paywalls,
copyright, official and corporate secrecy, and direct censorship. Information also has positive externalities or positive spillovers.
As a public good with potential for universal reach, the information allows us to know our rights and prerogatives, as well as contributes to the general interest, at the service of sustainable development. The importance of freely accessing reliable information, particularly through journalism, has been demonstrated by the COVID-19 pandemic: in times of crisis such as this, information can be a matter of life or death This has
been especially true in the face of the COVID-19 ‘dis-infodemic’, a mixture of misinformation and disinformation that has spread across the world sowing confusion, discord, and division. The lack of publicly available reliable data and information has created a vacuum for potentially harmful content (including hate
speech) and misleading conspiracy theories, mostly spread online through Internet business models and actors who exploit these.
Community radio has a variety of purposes aimed at ensuring universal access and public access to information. The community radio station programs broadcasted different programs such as UN Secretary-
General Antonio Guterres's message on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day, News, documentaries, magazine shows, discussions with the participation of journalists and stakeholders, radio spots, Interviews, etc.
The COVID-19 public health crisis has shed light on the vital role played by free and independent media worldwide4 . The output of news media (be it in print, television or radio, analogue or delivered via digital platforms) remains a powerful source of information that people access, even when this is via social media networks. In this way, media workers everywhere have significantly contributed to our understanding of the pandemic by making overwhelming and highly complex flows of information more accessible, making scientific facts understandable to the broader public, providing regularly updated data, and engaging in fact-checking. In many countries, journalists and fact-checkers have critically monitored contracting and subsidies that respond to the pandemic and have faced pressure from authorities as a result. In other cases, they have been hampered by measures put in place to contain the virus as well as challenges from both police and public during the host of public protests that have characterized this period.
Topics of the program were included how to ensure the overall use of information to improve the quality of life of the people at the local level, to ensure free access to information to improve the quality of life of people in local, national, and international knowledge and management and to prevent information epidemics. keep life and livelihood normal through providing and science-based information and in this case to overcome the current challenges and so on.