Every year the World celebrates Press Freedom Day on May 3 to commemorate journalists and highlight the difficulties they face while reporting truth.
And since reporting the truth is no easy task, journalists require a degree of freedom, which is usually guaranteed in the constitutions of various democratic nations and in the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
In many countries, media persons are at risk while performing their professional duties. The day aims to acknowledge the struggles faced by the people in the media and is a reminder to governments to respect press freedom.
The question that arises here is that who dedicated this day to journalists?
It was year 1993 when the United Nations General Assembly declared May 3 as World Press Freedom Day, this declaration came after a recommendation made in 1991 at the twenty-sixth General Conference session of UNESCO. The declaration also came as a result of the 1991 Windhoek Declaration, a statement produced by African journalists about press freedom, presented at a seminar held by UNESCO, which concluded on May 3.
The day is celebrated to ensure the protection and safety of the press in the face of attacks against its independence, to discuss journalistic ethics and to celebrate journalists who gave their lives in the pursuit of truth.
The theme for World Press Day 2021 is “Information as a Public Good”.
The three topics to be highlighted at this year’s World Press Freedom Day 2021 Global Conference, as per UNESCO are:
• Steps to ensure the economic viability of news media
• Mechanisms for ensuring transparency of Internet companies
• Enhanced Media and Information Literacy (MIL) capacities that enable people to recognize and value, as well as defend and demand, journalism as a vital part of information as a public good.