May 3 was proclaimed as International Press Day in 1993 by the UN General Assembly upon recommendation of UNESCO’s General Conference. So, mark your calendars on May 3 this year to support and spread awareness about the importance of Freedom of the Press in functioning, information providing, its significance and to awaken the government of its duty to uphold and respect the right to freedom of expression. This day also pays tribute to journalists who have lost their lives.
World Press Freedom Day: History
In December 1993, the UN General Assembly proclaimed World Press Freedom Day, following the recommendation of UNESCO’s General Conference. Since then, on 3 May, the anniversary of the Declaration of Windhoek is celebrated across the world as World Press Freedom Day. This day acts as a reminder to the government of the need to respect their commitment to press freedom.
World Press Freedom Day: Theme
The theme focuses on how today’s journalism is in danger by multiple digital surveillance strategies and attacks on journalists. It aims to highlight the consequences of the digitalization overshadowing true journalism on the public trust in digital communications.
The theme of World Press Freedom Day 2022 is “Journalism under digital siege”.
This day highlights three key areas:
- Ways to ensure the economic viability of news media
- Mechanisms for making sure about the transparency of internet companies
- To strengthen Media and Information Literacy (MIL) capacities that will help people to recognise and value journalism as an important part of information
Why is World Press Freedom Day Celebrated?
Upholding the fact that journalism today is under digital attack, the World Press Freedom Day is celebrated each year to make people aware of the number of censored, fined, suspended and closed down media publications, to encourage them to develop initiatives to protect press freedom, and to hold those responsible for suppressing freedom of expression. A free press holds those in power accountable, therefore, safeguarding its freedom is important.
The day is also celebrated to honor the fundamental principles of press freedom and to support the defence of the media from attacks on their independence. It is celebrated to inform people of all the damages of press freedom happening in many countries around the world, and media professionals being harassed, attacked and arrested just for doing their jobs.
How can you help to Protect Freedom of Press?
People should come together and request their governments to pass a strict law that would protect the journalists as well as their sources. People can help protect the freedom of the press by speaking against any violation of the principles of the press, being informed about what is happening in the media industry and contributing to support free media.
So, come together this year to remind the government of its commitment to let the media work independently, and remember the journalists who lost their lives in the line of duty, trying to give a voice to the people around the world.