World Press Freedom Day is celebrated on 3rd May every year worldwide.
World Press Freedom Day or World Press Day is announced by the United Nations General Assembly on 3rd May to spread awareness about the fundamental principles of press freedom, its significance and to awaken the government of its duty to uphold and respect the right to freedom of expression.
It gives an opportunity to defend the media from attacks on their independence, pay tribute to the journalists who have lost their lives in the line of duty.
The 25th celebration of World Press Freedom Day in 2018 is lead by UNESCO.
World Press Freedom Day 2018: Theme
The theme of World Press Freedom Day 2018 is ‘Keeping Power in Check: Media, Justice and The Rule of Law’.
In 2017, the theme was “Critical Minds for Critical Times: Media’s role in advancing peaceful, just and inclusive societies”.
In 2016, the theme was “Access to Information and Fundamental Freedoms – This Is Your Right!”.
It will cover the media issues like transparency of political process, accountability of state institutions towards the public and media literacy & independence of the judicial system.
This day will also examine the challenges faced by the media in ensuring freedom for press online.
World Press Freedom Day: History
In 1976, World Press Freedom Committee was established by some independent journalists to promote and defend press freedom and cover 44 media organisations from around the world. This organisation is located in Argentina. It is a member of the International Freedom of Expression Exchange which functions in cooperation with several other organisations for freedom of press, human rights experts and journalists.
To reflect upon the freedom of press internationally, United Nation General Assembly in 1993 took an initiative to arrange World Press Freedom Day. This day was marked on the jubilee of the Declaration of Windhoek. It is basically a statement of fundamentals of press freedom assembled in 1991 by the African Journalists to encourage an independent African press.
World Press Freedom Day: Celebrations
- Several cultural events are organised to determine the significance of press freedom.
- Initiatives of several nations are coordinated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and most of the time it serves as an organising partner to foster the freedom of expression.
- UNESCO conferred awards to the deserving organisations, individuals or institutions that have made commendable contributions in the promotion and defence of press freedom in any part of the world.
- In India, Press Freedom Day is celebrated to salute the media journalists who risked their lives in providing information or sometimes lost their life in the duty itself.
- Various Government officers, ministers take part while organising several events like art exhibitions; honour awards for the journalists who have risked their lives on duty etc. on this day in India.
Freedom of the Press, if it means anything at all, means the freedom to criticize and oppose - George Orwell
According to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers. – Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
We all know that in the development of any country media plays a crucial role. It not only aware people what is going on around the surrounding but also about the events which affect their lives. Freedom of Press should be taken seriously as safety of journalists while delivering information during their duties is of utmost importance. Also, freedom of speech and expression right should be respected.