The YNR provides opportunities for the youth to engage in the latest discussions on press freedom and freedom of speech with leading practitioners, experts and advocates at an international forum. “The newsroom brought together 16 participants from Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries physically, and 11 more from elsewhere in the world, virtually,” the co-ordinator, Dr Hugh Ellis, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Communication said.
The YNR concept was birthed in 2012 and encourages journalism students and young reporters from all over the world to cover plenaries, parallel sessions and side events in line with WPFD. “As part of these efforts, we are working to create more transparency on online platforms in areas such as content moderation, while respecting human rights and international freedom of expression rules. We are equipping citizens with the Media and Information Literacy skills they need to navigate this new information landscape so they can avoid being duped or manipulated online,” Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO elaborated.
Addressing the participants of the YNR, NUST Vice-Chancellor, Dr Erold Naomab, expressed his concerns surrounding the standards and ethics of journalism. Additionally, Dr Naomab showed his gratitude that NUST could form part of the YNR.
“It is my sincere hope that the 2021 WPFD has offered you lifelong learning opportunities that you would cherish for the rest of your life. The generation of Gwen Lister has put Namibia and Africa on the map with the Windhoek Declaration, and we look upon you, the 2021 YNR participants, to put Africa on the global map,” he said.