World Press Freedom Day

Published:

22.04.21

Share:

Share on twitter
Share on facebook
Share on linkedin

Published:

22.04.21

Share:

Share on twitter
Share on facebook
Share on linkedin

3 May acts as a reminder to governments of the need to respect their commitment to press freedom and is also a day of reflection among media professionals about issues of press freedom and professional ethics.

Just as importantly, World Press Freedom Day is a day of support for media which are targets for the restraint, or abolition, of press freedom. It is also a day of remembrance for those journalists who lost their lives in the pursuit of a story.

Every year, 3 May is a date which celebrates the fundamental principles of press freedom, to evaluate press freedom around the world, to defend the media from attacks on their independence and to pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the exercise of their profession. World Press Freedom Day was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 1993 following a Recommendation adopted at the twenty-sixth session of UNESCO’s General Conference in 1991. This in turn was a response to a call by African journalists who in 1991 produced the landmark Windhoek Declaration(link is external) on media pluralism and independence.

At the core of UNESCO’s mandate is freedom of the press and freedom of expression. UNESCO believes that these freedoms allow for mutual understanding to build a sustainable peace.

It serves as an occasion to inform citizens of violations of press freedom – a reminder that in dozens of countries around the world, publications are censored, fined, suspended and closed down, while journalists, editors and publishers are harassed, attacked, detained and even murdered.

It is a date to encourage and develop initiatives in favour of press freedom, and to assess the state of press freedom worldwide.

 

World Freedom Press Day 2021

This year’s World Press Freedom Day theme “Information as a Public Good” serves as a call to affirm the importance of cherishing information as a public good, and exploring what can be done in the production, distribution and reception of content to strengthen journalism, and to advance transparency and empowerment while leaving no one behind. The theme is of urgent relevance to all countries across the world. It recognizes the changing communications system that is impacting on our health, our human rights, democracies and sustainable development.

To underline the importance of information within our online media environment, WPFD 2021 will highlight three key topics:

  • Steps to ensure the economic viability of news media;
  • Mechanisms for ensuring transparency of Internet companies;
  • Enhanced Media and Information Literacy (MIL) capacities that enable people to recognize and value, as well as defend and demand, journalism as a vital part of information as a public good.

 

The global conference

The 2021 Global Conference is hosted by UNESCO and the Government of Namibia. It will take place on 29 April – 3 May in Windhoek. The event will be a physical and digital experience combining virtual and in-presence participation. Register now to be part of the regional forums, side events, keynotes, artistic showcases, films screenings and more! Join media leaders, activists, policymakers, media and legal experts, artists and researchers from all over the world.

The Conference will call for urgent attention to the threat of extinction faced by local news media around the world, a crisis worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic. It will put forward ideas to tackle the challenges of our online media environment, push for more transparency of internet companies, strengthen safety of journalists, and improve their working conditions. The Conference will also call to support independent media and empower citizens to face these challenges.

See more

Podcast

Inside the Drive to Create a ‘Global Fund’ for Public Interest Journalism

UN Dispatch, Global Dispatches podcast

Article

A free press is the lifeblood of democracy – journalists must not be silenced

Journalists risk everything to hold power to account, crucial work for which a $1bn global fund should be established

Event

World Press Freedom Day virtual event

The National Press Club will host a virtual event on May 3 - highlighting the cases of three journalists who need our help: Maria Ressa, Austin Tice, and Emilio Gutierrez-Soto.

Your cookie settings

This website deploys cookies for basic functionality and to keep it secure. These cookies are strictly necessary. Optional analysis cookies which provide us with statistical information about the use of the website may also be deployed, but only with your consent. You can opt out from these cookies below.

Please review our Privacy & Data Policy for more information.

You may choose to prevent this website from aggregating and analyzing the actions you take here. Doing so will protect your privacy, but will also prevent the owner from learning from your actions and creating a better experience for you and other users.