Frequently Asked Questions
What is World Press Freedom Day?
World Press Freedom Day (WPFD) is an annual celebration of press freedom, observed on 3 May and whose main celebration is organized by UNESCO. The objectives are to:
- promote the fundamental principles of press freedom
- emphasise the importance of an independent media
- address challenges to media freedom worldwide
- defend the media from attacks on their independence
- pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the line of duty
World Press Freedom Day was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in 1993, following the recommendation of UNESCO’s General Conference in 1991.
What is World Press Freedom Conference (WPFC)?
The annual World Press Freedom Conference (WPFC) is the international celebration of World Press Freedom Day. This Conference is held annually on 3 May to reflect on the most pressing issues concerning press freedom. This year, the World Press Freedom Conference is a joint celebration of World Press Freedom Day (3 May) and the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists (2 November).
What is the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists?
Every year since 2013, the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists (IDEI) has been commemorated on 2 November. The date was chosen in commemoration of the assassination of two French journalists in Mali on 2 November 2013, and proclaimed through the United Nations General Assembly’s Resolution A/RES/68/163. With more than 1,100 journalists killed in the world from 2006 to 2019 according to UNESCO, and only one case out of ten judicially solved, the level of impunity for crimes against journalists remains terribly high. This high level of impunity perpetuates a cycle of violence against journalists, imposes a climate of fear in many parts of the world, and sends a chilling message across society.
Who organises WPFC?
In 2020, the annual World Press Freedom Conference (WPFC) will be co-hosted by UNESCO and the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the conference this year will be held in a new, innovative format: merging digital and in-person elements. Sessions will be livestreamed from the World Forum, The Hague on 9 and 10 December across different time zones. Want to attend the digital conference? Registration is open now.
Many conferences have been cancelled because of the COVID-19 virus. Why is the WPFC still going on?
Press freedom is important at all times, but under COVID-19 the importance of free information gathering is even more urgent. Journalists and media play a crucial role in the dissemination of reliable information to the public, to help deal with the pandemic and monitor the decision-making process. At the same time they face restrictions while doing their work, for example because of intimidation by authorities. These are urgent matters to discuss. We have therefore set up a digital platform for the 2020 edition of the WPFC to allow thousands of journalists, academics, politicians, students, NGOs, legal experts and other interested parties worldwide to take part in the conference, despite travel restrictions.
For whom is WPFC intended?
Participation in the World Press Freedom Conference (WPFC) is open to everyone, including journalists and members of the news media, policymakers, NGOs, members of the judiciary, students, artists, companies, academics and many others from around the world who are active or interested in the field of journalism. Registration for the digital conference is open now: please register here. After registration, you will receive the credentials to log in on the conference platform. We will send the credentials by the beginning of December. Please check your email (and spam folder) regularly.
Where will WPFC 2020 be held?
What are WPFC's themes and topics?
The theme of WPFC 2020 is ‘Journalism without Fear or Favour’, an expression coined by Adolph S. Ochs, founder of the modern New York Times. First and foremost, the conference seeks to underline the necessity to stand for free, safe and independent media, and protect to journalism against persistent and new forms of control. The independence and freedom of the media is still being threatened in many countries, making this issue more relevant than ever.
4. Ending impunity for crimes against journalists and improving the safety of journalists.
We will also address current issues at WPFC, such as the role of the press and the problems encountered by journalists in the COVID-19 crisis.
What does the programme look like?
The temporary programme and speakers list is online now. In the coming weeks, we will update the programme and new speakers will be announced. Check our website and social media regularly. Want to attend the digital conference? Please register here.
Do I have to pay to participate?
Do I have to register to participate?
I had already registered. What will happen next?
For those who had registered or pre-registered earlier this year: due to the applicable European AVG regulations and the changed set-up of the conference, we are unfortunately not allowed to reuse these previous data. Please register now and make sure you will be able to attend the digital edition of WPFC 2020 to the fullest. After registration, you will receive credentials to log in on the conference platform (link will be published on this website in due time). We will send you the credentials by the beginning of December. Please check your email (and spam folder) regularly.
I want to cover WPFC 2020 as a journalist and be present in the World Forum in The Hague. Is this possible and do I have to register?
If the current COVID-19 measures allow it, it is possible to report on WPFC 2020 from the World Forum. However, due to COVID-19 the number of available places is limited. You need to register well before WPFC 2020. Please contact us WPFC2020-PRESS@minbuza.nl. It is up to the organisation of WPFC 2020 to decide whether or not to admit you to the World Forum.
I want to cover WPFC 2020 as a journalist through the online conferencing platform. Is this possible and do I have to register?
Yes, this is possible. You have to register as a participant.
Can I physically attend WPFC as a visitor?
No. Due to the COVID-19 crisis the conference can only be attended online via the digital conference platform (recommended if you want to get the most out of WPFC 2020) and via YouTube, Twitter and Instagram.
How does the online conference platform work?
The online conference platform (link will be published on this website in due time) will have the look and feel of a ‘real’ conference venue as much as possible. It will include a central lobby, information desk, conference rooms, exhibition spaces, cinema, meeting points and breakout rooms where you can network with other conference visitors. Want to attend the digital conference? Please register here. Check our website and social media regularly for the latest news:
Can I follow the sessions in any other way?
You can follow all sessions via the online conference platform (link will be published on this website in due time), giving you complete access to everything WPFC 2020 has to offer. For this, you have to register first. By the beginning of December we will send you the credentials to log in on the conference platform. It is also possible to follow WPFC 2020 on YouTube, Twitter and Instagram.
Can I also organise a programme session myself?
The WPFC 2020 programme is put together in collaboration with a large number of partners. WPFC’s organisers are in contact with these partners. Individual participants cannot independently organise a programme component.
How can I get in touch with the WPFC team?
Do you want to cover WPFC as a journalist and have a question?
Where can I find more information about WPFC?
More information about WPFC can be found on our website and social media:
How can I follow the WPFC discussions on social media?
You can follow the WPFC discussions on social with the hashtags #PressFreedom #EndImpunity.