World Press Freedom Day
A day to celebrate the independence of press and praise its state of freedom!
May 3 is celebrated as World Press Freedom Day every year to celebrate the fundamental principles of press freedom and to evaluate this freedom worldwide. Additionally, the Day shows the elementary principles of freedom of the press to assess the worth of press freedom globally and to protect media from attacks. It serves as a perfect event to make citizens aware about the violations of freedom of the press; it can be taken as a reminder that publications are fined, suspended, censored and shut down in many countries across the world. It stands as a date to develop and encourage initiatives in approval of press freedom and also to praise the state of freedom of the press.
In the year 1993, the United Nations General Assembly had organized the first World Press Freedom Day in an effort to reflect upon press freedom in the world. The day marks the anniversary of the Declaration of Windhoek that is a statement of press freedom principles put together by African journalists in 1991 to promote an independent and pluralistic African press.
World Press Freedom Day is a remarkable day to:
- celebrate the fundamental principles of press freedom
- assess the state of press freedom in on the global level
- defend the independence of media and press from attacks
- and pay tribute to the journalists, editors, and publishers who risk or lost their lives in defense of the public’s right to know
The main celebration of World Press Freedom Day takes place in Addis Ababa. The event provides a platform for people to exchange information on current issues, threats, and achievements concerning freedom of the press. This year, the theme of World Press Freedom Day is “Media for Democracy: Journalism and Elections in Times of Disinformation”
UNESCO marks World Press Freedom Day by presenting the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize. The prize is given to the individual, organization or institution that has made a contribution to the defence and/or promotion of press freedom anywhere in the world. The prize was started in 1997 and given on the recommendation of an independent jury of 14 news professionals. The names for the award are submitted by regional and international non-governmental organizations working for press freedom, and by UNESCO member states.
Freedom of the press is not an end in itself but, a means to the end of achieving a free society. – Felix Frankfurter