In an effort to promote and safeguard the freedom of press and expression, the United Nations General Assembly has declared May 3 as World Press Freedom Day. This day aims to raise awareness of the significance of a free press and remind governments of their obligation to uphold and protect the right to freedom of expression, which is protected under Article 19 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The first celebration of World Press Freedom Day was held in 1993, following a recommendation made by the General Conference of UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization). The date of May 3 was selected to commemorate the Windhoek Declaration, a statement of press freedom principles issued by African journalists in Windhoek, Namibia, in 1991.
Since then, the annual celebration of World Press Freedom Day has served as an important occasion for individuals and organizations around the world to come together and advocate for the right to freedom of expression and access to information. The day is marked by various events, including conferences, seminars, and debates, which aim to highlight the challenges faced by journalists and media organizations, as well as to discuss potential solutions to the issues at hand.
This year’s World Press Freedom Day theme is “Information as a Public Good,” which emphasizes the critical role that information plays in shaping public opinion and promoting accountability, transparency, and democracy. It also underscores the need to ensure that all individuals have access to accurate and reliable information, particularly in the age of digital media and misinformation.