Building peace in the minds of men and women

World Press Freedom Day

3 May

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 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 Press Freedom 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 this new ecosystem, 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.

 

Celebrations around the world

UNESCO and partners will organize celebrations around the world. Register your event here  in order to feature it in our map of celebrations.

World Press Freedom Day 2021 International Conference

The 2021 International Conference is hosted by UNESCO and the Government of Namibia, and will take place on 1 - 3 May in Windhoek. The event will be a physical and digital experience combining virtual and in-presence participation, regional forums, side events, keynotes, artistic showcases, films screenings and VOD, and more! Join media leaders, activists, policymakers, media and legal experts, artists, academicians, researchers and CSOs from all over the world.

More information about the registration for the digital conference will be available here.

 

30th Anniversary of Windhoek Declaration

World Press Freedom Day has its origins in a UNESCO conference in Windhoek in 1991. The event ended on 3 May with the adoption of the landmark Windhoek Declaration for the Development of a Free, Independent and Pluralistic Press. After 30 years, the historic connection made between the freedom to seek, impart and receive information and the public good remains as relevant as it was at the time of its signing. Special commemorations of the 30th anniversary are planned to take place during World Press Freedom Day International Conference.

 

UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize

UNESCO has invited the governments of Member States, in consultation with their National Commissions, as well as international and regional professional non-governmental organizations, active in the field of press freedom, to nominate candidates for UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize. The submissions deadline was 15 February 2021. Read more