World Press Freedom Day popularly known as World Press Day is one of the calendar events planned, organised and promoted by the United Nations, is observed annually on May 3.
Freedom of the press is significant for keeping people informed. A free press monitors the administration and forces them to work for the betterment of the country.
Thomas Jefferson once said “The press [is] the only tocsin of a nation. [When it] is completely silenced… all means of a general effort [are] taken away.”
The press acts as a medium of communication between the government and the people. The free press has a huge responsibility of reporting the truth and shaping people’s opinions. Hence to mark the importance of the press, World Press Freedom Day is celebrated every year.
World Press Freedom Day 2020: Date
World Press Freedom Day popularly known as World Press Day is one of the calendar events planned, organised and promoted by the United Nations, observed annually on May 3.
The day is celebrated to raise awareness regarding the importance of freedom of the press. The day is reflection among media professionals about issues of press freedom and professional ethics.
“A free press can, of course, be good or bad, but, most certainly without freedom, the press will never be anything but bad.” – Albert Camus
May 3 the World Press Freedom Day is a day of support for media which are targets for the restraint, or abolition, of press freedom. It is also a day of remembrance for those journalists who lost their lives in the pursuit of a story.
World Press Freedom Day 2020: Theme
The theme of World Press Freedom Day 2020, “Journalism without Fear or Favour” and the sub-themes for this year are:
- Safety of Women and Men Journalists and Media Workers
- Independent and Professional Journalism free from Political and Commercial Influence
- Gender Equality in All Aspect of the Media
As per UNESCO, on May 3, national and local celebrations for World Press Freedom Day will take place around the world, which includes online debates and workshops.
UNESCO will launch a global campaign on media and social media channels, with a focus on “Journalism without Fear or Favour” in an increasingly complex media landscape.
“As the [COVID-19] pandemic spreads, it has also given rise to a second pandemic of misinformation, from harmful health advice to wild conspiracy theories. The press provides the antidote: verified, scientific, fact-based news and analysis”. -UN Secretary-General António Guterres
Interested people can join the free live-streamed event to celebrate World Press Freedom Day 2020: ” Difference Day Conference 2020.”
World Press Freedom Conference 2020
Since 1993, the Global Conference is organized annually. The conference provides an opportunity to journalists, civil society representatives, national authorities, academics and the broader public to discuss emerging challenges to press freedom and journalists’ safety and to work together on identifying solutions.
The Netherlands is the host for 2020. UNESCO planned to hold the conference from April 22 to 24 at the World Forum in The Hague. But due to Covid-19 a global pandemic the conference is now scheduled for October 18 to 20 at the same venue.
The conference will be a joint celebration of World Press Freedom Day (May 3) and the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists ( November 2).
World Press Freedom Day 2020: History
World Press Freedom Day was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in December 1993, following the recommendation of UNESCO’s General Conference. Since then, 3 May, is celebrated as World Press Freedom Day.
World Press Freedom Day acts as a reminder to governments of the need to respect their commitment to press freedom.
“Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech.” – Benjamin Franklin
The day May 3 also marks the anniversary of Windhoek Declaration.
On this World Press Freedom Day here are some quotes on freedom of the press, have a look.
World Press Freedom Day 2020: Here are some quotes on freedom of the press | Representational image
WORLD PRESS FREEDOM DAY 2020: QUOTES
“The press should do what it can to minimise the abuse of power (self-scrutiny can help and so can competition), but we should also try to understand with clarity why and how press freedom can enrich human lives, enhance public justice, and even help to promote economic and social development.” -Amartya Sen.“We live to think and express our thoughts in writing. If an individual or government prevents someone from writing, from being published…it is as if they were taking their life.” -Ahmad Zeidabadi“As journalists, we are sometimes guilty of not taking cognizance of the enormity of the challenges and the responsibilities that we carry on our shoulders.” -Geofrey Nyarota “We have to uphold a free press and freedom of speech- because, in the end, lies and misinformation are no match for the truth.” -Barack Obama“Freedom of the Press, if it means anything at all, means the freedom to criticize and oppose.” – George Orwell.“The freedom of the human mind is recognized in the right to free speech and free press.” -Calvin Coolidge.“Freedom of the press belongs to the people of a nation, not to the owners of publications.” -A. J. Liebling.
Wish you all a Happy World Press Freedom Day 2020!
Source: India Today