WORLD Press Freedom Day, first proclaimed by the UN in 1993, is celebrated each year on May 3. It is taken as an opportunity to celebrate the principles of press freedom, assess the state of press freedom throughout the world and pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the line of duty.
This year, World Press Freedom day has brought a huge amount of conversation and information exchange on social media which has seen the hashtag trend for over 24 hours in several African countries, and smaller hashtags related to the media and press freedom also emerge.
Reports and data were released which revealed the state of the media in African countries and worldwide.
The Afrobarometer research project for example highlighted its recent report which showed that the majority of Africans believe that the news media should have the right to publish any views and ideas without government control.
The Human Rights Watch used the day to launch a new report, the first of its kind, on the state of media freedom in Somalia and the attacks against journalists.
Some users used the occasion to highlight the abuses by governments in trying to restrict free speech.
But most of the tweets were from the public showing their overwhelming support and gratitude to Africa’s journalists.
In Kenya, a smaller hashtag even started trending as there was an outpouring of local support for local journalists - #CelebrateOneJournalistToday.