This year marks the 50th anniversary of Telecommunication and Information Society Day, celebrated on 17 May 2019. Telecommunication has been the backbone of the broadcasting space and continues to be critical to an information society. A democratic state cannot exist without an informed citizenship. The transmission of information through “the airwaves speaks to the freedom of expression and accesses to information and the transparency we fiercely advocate for.”
“The purpose of World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD) is to help raise awareness of the possibilities that the use of the Internet and other information and communication technologies (ICT) can bring to societies and economies, as well as of ways to bridge the digital divide.” ‐ www.gov.za/TelecommunicationDay2019
Journalist remain the guardians of a transparent and informed society. President Ramaphosa said, “I also wish to thank the media, which continues to play a vital role in our democracy and which was important in ensuring that South African people were well informed as they went to vote”. It is important to remain cognisant of the fact that telecommunication played a huge role in ensuring that informed society and journalist should be actively involved on issues pertaining to telecommunications and broadcasting.
According to the World Telecommunications Union (ITU) The Day marks the founding of ITU on 17 May 1865 when the first International Telegraph Convention was signed in Paris. Telecommunication and technology have changed.
When the world started talking globalization and global communities, it was on the realization that technology linked international communities, providing the ability to share information faster to a broader audience. This has allowed greater leaning opportunities and knowledge sharing, improving decision making from an informed perspective.
Ntando Makhubu, Chairperson of the National Press Club, touched on information society during her interview with Media Monitor. She expressed that both journalists and communicators want to share information without barriers or fear, echoing one of the objectives of and the need for Telecommunications and Information Society Day.