World Press Freedom Day
3 May is World Press Freedom Day. The day declared by the UN General Assembly in 1993 is celebrated every year across the world to raise awareness of the importance of press freedom and the need to protect the fundamental principle of freedom of expression as enshrined in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The Day is to reflect on the fundamental principles of freedom of expression, evaluate the state of press freedom, defend the media from attacks on their independence, and pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the exercise of their profession. Every day, journalists work to serve an essential role in delivering information that affects important decisions that we make concerning our families and livelihoods. Also, media independence and pluralism are prerequisites and major factors of democratization. Journalists, therefore, play an essential role in promoting good governance and transparency, and reducing corruption. Yet despite and because of their important role, all around the world, journalists are targets of harassment, intimidation and physical assault.
The theme for World Press Freedom Day 2011 was “21st Century Media: New Frontiers, New Barriers” which focused on the potential of Internet and digital platforms as well as the more established forms of journalism in contributing to freedom of expression, democratic governance and sustainable development.