World Press Freedom Day (May 3, 2021)

On this World Press Freedom Day, France reaffirms its unwavering and resolute commitment to press freedom, freedom of expression and the protection of journalists around the world.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Windhoek Declaration signed on May 3, 1991 by African journalists in favor of a free, independent and pluralist press, a declaration which subsequently became universal in scope. This date was deliberately chosen by the United Nations to celebrate World Press Freedom Day.

This statement remains more relevant than ever as press freedom and the safety of journalists are increasingly threatened around the world and new challenges threaten the freedom to inform and to be informed, both online. and offline.

In the digital age, a free, independent and pluralist press remains essential for the proper functioning of our societies, especially in times of crisis where the right to access reliable information is crucial in the face of information manipulation and the scourge infodemia. France has also put in place legislation at both national and European level on neighboring rights, in order to guarantee the media fair remuneration from the major digital platforms.

Because it fully supports the notion of “information as a public good” vital for our democratic societies, France joined forces with Reporters Without Borders in September 2019 to launch the International Partnership for Information and Democracy, today. ‘hui endorsed by 42 countries.

In collaboration with RSF and a dozen civil society organizations around the world, the Information and Democracy Initiative has mobilized against the manipulation of information. Recommendations were formulated on concrete actions to regulate online content in order to better fight against infodemic in a democratic way, and a second working group will soon present proposals on the crucial challenges for the sustainability of journalism in the era. digital. Indeed, when the economic model of the media is undermined by digital companies, it is the freedom of the press as a whole that is threatened. Together, we must think about a model of equitable sharing of revenues between the media which produce the information and the platforms which disseminate it.

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