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Ethics thinking on world days and reading in a digital age

Book and hand in a forest.
 

The global community is nourished each year through the services of the United Nations, its implementing agencies and related foundations on the occasion of World Book and Copyright Day (23 April) and of World Press Freedom Day (3 May) with events and reflections on the importance of  reading and in more recent years of reading in a digital age. The annual celebrations marked in various forms by governments, private sector organisations and NGOs and of course publishing houses, journalists and educational institutions, seek to encourage book reading as a bridge that links the past, present and future of artists, thinkers and writers as an activity that unites humanity.

The events showcase publishers, booksellers and libraries and even selects a WORLD BOOK CAPITAL for a year to emphasise the advantage of books in the service of creativity, diversity and equal access of all to shared knowledge across cultures.  
 
In a world growing in untruth, books and their authors are bound hand and foot, journalists are gagged for expressing their opinions or for narrating the happenings that take place globally.  Works are indexed by authorities, thoughts are captured and kept hostage and freedom of faith, belief, expression and writing are threatened or even banned. In  the 21st century world where balanced research is excised and truth extradited to the paradise of pretenders, the ethical question remains and stands out:  What is the purpose of  World Book and Copyright Day, World Press Freedom Day or copyright laws and reading in a digital age?  
 
Many acknowledge the utility of books and book reading as a universal link to shared wisdom. Thus books, the press, the digital tools and literature all exemplified in reading stand as critical binding tools for stakeholders including writers, authors, publishers, teachers, children and students, librarians, academic institutions in both the private and public sectors, the mass media, cultural and religious traditions and groups united around the topic of the book industry.  
 
The same occasion marks World Copyright Day, which seeks to establish intellectual property against all forms of plagiarism and thievery through the establishment of ethical principles that protect rights and ownership of intellectual material.
At Globethics.net we join the global community to celebrate these significant events and contributions that serve intellectual heritage. We reflect the relevance of these events to ethical principles and challenge stakeholders to wait a minute and ask the simple question: What is the purpose of it all?  
 
The purpose of it all is found in the answer VALUES AND ETHICS. Having recognised the importance of values in human societies, we deepen their practice through integration into education. Such values are transmitted through the written and spoken word, in literature, books, journalistic practice and on digital platforms. In all of these, ethical principles that recognise professionalism, freedom of conscience and religion, integrity, holistic thinking and actions, respect for diversity and inclusiveness, cultural identities despite differences and sustainability concerns capture best the themes that the global community commemorates annually.  Welcome and share these values with others, on our website, www.globethics.net, on your own platforms and on social media.
 
Obiora Ike, Executive Director, Globethics.netObiora Ike
Globethics.net Executive Director