Today is World Press Freedom Day

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World Press Freedom Day was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in December 1993 following the recommendation of UNESCO’s General Conference. Since then, May 3rd, the anniversary of the declaration of Windhoek has been celebrated worldwide as World Press Freedom Day.

May 3rd acts as a reminder to governments of the need to respect their commitment to press freedom. It is also a day of reflection amongst media professionals about issues of press freedom and professional ethics. It is an opportunity to:

  • celebrate the fundamental principles of press freedom;
  • assess the state of press freedom throughout the world;
  • defend the media from attacks on their independence;
  • and pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the line of duty.

The media are entrusted with a very important role to inform society about matters that are important to it and create a platform for public debate, reflection and scrutiny. To be able to do this there has to be special attention given to the media’s freedom and protection.

These special rights and freedoms are not unlimited and they involve duties and responsibilities as well. In today’s world of social media, a journalist’s responsibility to publish truthful and verified information is even more crucial.

2020’s Theme is Journalism without Fear or Favour.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres

As the COVID-19 pandemic spreads, it has also given rise to a second pandemic of misinformation, from harmful health advice to wild conspiracy theories. The press provides the antidote: verified, scientific, fact-based news and analysis

UN Secretary-General António Guterres
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