Why is World Press Freedom Day celebrated on May 3? Everything you need to know about its history and meaning
New Delhi | Simran Srivastava: World Press Freedom Day is observed annually on May 3 to raise awareness of the importance of press freedom in the provision of information and to remind governments to respect the right to freedom of expression. Established by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in December 1993, this day also pays tribute to journalists who have lost their lives.
World Press Freedom Day 2022: History
The UNGA in December 1993 proclaimed this day after a recommendation adopted at the 26th session of the General Conference of UNESCO in 1991. The Windhoek Declaration was also adopted on this day. This is a statement of press freedom principles by African newspaper journalists in 1991.
World Press Freedom Day 2022: theme
This year, the theme for World Press Freedom Day is “Journalism under siege by the digital age”. According to the United Nations, the theme will focus on the various ways in which journalism is endangered by digital surveillance and attacks on journalists, and the consequences of all this for public trust in digital communications. The UN has also mentioned that surveillance can reveal information gathered by journalists, including whistleblowers, and can harm the safety of journalists.
The theme for World Press Freedom Day 2021 was “Information as a Public Good” and it took place in Namibia, Windhoek. This theme focused on the importance of treasuring information as a public good and exploring ways to strengthen journalism. He highlighted ways to ensure the economic viability of news media, build media and information literacy (MIL) capacities, and mechanisms to ensure transparency in internet businesses.
In 2020 the theme was “Journalism Without Fear or Favor” and it was organized in the Netherlands, The Hague. UNESCO has launched a global media and social media campaign focusing on this theme. Events such as the High-Level Dialogue on Press Freedom and Countering Disinformation in the Context of COVID-19 and online discussions via Facebook Live, YouTube and Microsoft Teams, among other digital platforms, have been organised.
The theme in 2019 was “Media for Democracy: Journalism and Elections in Times of Disinformation”, and it was organized in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. He focused on the challenges faced by the media in elections and the potential of the media to support peace and reconciliation processes.
In 2018, the theme was “Harnessing Power: Media, Justice and Rule of Law”. In 2017, the theme was “Critical Minds for Critical Times: The Role of Media in Promoting Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies”. In 2016, the theme was “Access to information and fundamental freedoms – It’s your right!” “.
World Press Freedom Day 2022: Meaning
According to the UN, World Press Freedom Day is celebrated to honor journalists who have lost their lives in the line of duty. In addition, this day also celebrates the fundamental principles of press freedom and takes stock of the state of press freedom in the world. World Press Freedom Day is also an opportunity to defend the media against attacks on their independence.
World Press Freedom Day 2022: Celebrations
This year, the annual World Press Freedom Day Conference will be organized by UNESCO and the Republic of Uruguay. The conference will take place from May 2 to May 5 this year. In India, this day is celebrated to salute media journalists who have risked their lives providing information or sometimes lost their lives in the line of duty.
Posted by: Simran Srivastava