World Press Freedom Day

World Press Freedom Day is observed next on Wednesday, May 3rd, 2023 (220 days from today).

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World Press Freedom Day is a day to evaluate press freedom around the world, protect the media from attacks on their independence, and to pay tribute to the journalists who gave their lives in the process.

World Press Freedom Day is celebrated annually on May 3rd to inform the international community that freedom of the press and freedom of expression are fundamental human rights and remind everyone that many journalists have bravely died or face prison to bring their daily news to the masses.

Some amazing truths about World Press Freedom Day you should know

At the core of the date is a reminder that being a journalist can be suicidal. Publishers and those who work with them are harassed, attacked, murdered. Publications are censored, fined and closed.

This is an opportunity to:

  • Honor the basic principles of press freedom;
  • Assess the state of press freedom around the world;
  • Prevent the media from dangerous attacks about their independence;
  • Express gratitude the journalists who are died in the line of duty.

In the United States, over the past 15 years, the number of US reporters, editors, photographers and other newsroom staff has decreased by 45%. More newsrooms are expected to follow suit as news business models continue to pervade. There are currently about 1,500 "ghost newspapers," where skeleton staffs are providing little or no local news. Moreover, in some places, access to the news has dried up completely: More than 1,400 communities around the country have lost a newspaper during this time period.

History of World Press Freedom Day

World Press Freedom Day was established in December 1993 by the United Nations General Assembly as an opening step of the Conference on Promoting an Independent and Pluralistic African Press. This workshop took place in Namibia in 1991 and led to the adoption of the Windhoek Declaration on the Promotion of Pluralistic and Independent Communication.

The Windhoek Declaration called for the establishment, maintenance and promotion of an independent, pluralistic and free press. It emphasizes the importance of a free press to the development and maintenance of democracy in a country, and to economic development. World Press Freedom Day is celebrated every year on May 3rd, the day the Windhoek Declaration was adopted.

In spite of being celebrated since 1993, World Press Freedom Day has much deeper roots in the United Nations. Article 19 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights shows that everyone has the right of freedom and expression; which includes freedom to hold opinions without interference. Furthermore, it has received and imparted information and ideas through any media and frontiers.

Each year since 1997, the UNESCO / Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize is awarded to honor the work of an individual or an organization that protects or promotes the right to freedom of expression, especially if it put the individual's life in jeopardy. The award is named for Guillermo Cano, a Colombian journalist who was murdered in 1986 after denouncing the drug lord.

How to celebrate World Press Freedom Day

  • World Press Freedom Day offers everyone a chance to pay tribute to media professionals who risked or lost their lives in the line of duty. Many communities, organizations and individuals participate in this day through various events such as art exhibitions, dinners with keynote speakers and awards nights to honor those who risked their lives to bring the news out world.
  • Visit World Press Freedom Day online. Use your local newspaper to express yourself. Write to the editor about something you feel strongly about.
  • Read George Orwell's 1984, Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, all envision a society without a free press.
  • Do not forget share your celebration with the hashtag such as #PressFreedomDay or #WorldPressFreedomDay through the social media.

Observed

World Press Freedom Day has been observed annually on May 3rd.

Dates

Monday, May 3rd, 2021

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2022

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2023

Friday, May 3rd, 2024

Saturday, May 3rd, 2025

Also on Wednesday, May 3rd, 2023

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