World Press Freedom Day 2021

Team Udayavani, May 3, 2021, 11:06 AM IST

May 3 is celebrated every year globally as World Press Freedom Day, 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.

The press hailed as the fourth pillar of democracy has always risked their reputations and lives for the truth behind the events.

World Press Freedom Day is a day to support for media which are targets for the restraint or abolition of press freedom. The day is also a day of remembrance for those journalists who lost their lives in the pursuit of a story.

In 1993, United Nations General Assembly declared May 3 as the World Press Freedom Day. This came after a recommendation made in 1991 at the twenty-sixth General Conference session of UNESCO.

 The declaration also came as a result of the 1991 Windhoek Declaration; a statement which was produced by African journalists about press freedom, presented at a seminar held by UNESCO, which concluded on May 3.

This day is to ensure the protection and safety of the press in the face of attacks against its independence, to discuss journalistic ethics. There are ten nations – China, North Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Eritrea, Djibouti, Turkmenistan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iran, and Cuba – where press freedom is severely limited. World Press Day reminds us that many publications and their editors and reporters are often prevented from doing their jobs, censored and banned. Many get imprisoned or killed even.

This year’s World Press Freedom Day theme is “Information as a Public Good.” This theme 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. According to UNESCO, the theme is of urgent relevance to all countries across the world. It recognizes the changing communications system that is impacting our health, our human rights, democracies, and sustainable development.

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