World Press Freedom Conference 2020: Journalism Without Fear or Favour

Organized in collaboration with the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the 2020 World Press Freedom Conference (WPFC) takes place in The Hague, a city known for its role in international peace and justice. The conference is being held on 22, 23 and 24 April in the run-up to the annual World Press Freedom Day (WPFD) on 3 May which celebrates the fundamental principles of press freedom and freedom of expression.

The theme of this year’s celebrations is “Journalism Without Fear or Favour” and it brings together those active in the field of press freedom and the public to stand up for a free and independent media. WPFD 2020 is the call for all to inspire positive change and to protect journalism against persisting and new forms of control. Journalism today faces many threats from actors trying to capture or intimidate media in order to influence the information flows. WPFD 2020 is about the successes of the growing movement to enhance professional journalism and its foundation in independent media institutions.

Through multiple sessions, the WPFC 2020 will shed light on different aspects of the overall theme, “Journalism Without Fear or Favour”. This includes opportunities to understand and debate topics related to media capture, diversity in the press, journalism in a digital age and how to move forward in protecting and promoting bold and independent journalistic work.

The UNESCO Director-General, Audrey Azoulay, as well as high-level government representatives will attend the WPFC on 22 to 24 April in the Hague. Together with representatives of civil society, media organizations, professional associations, academia and the judiciary, they will put media independence on the international agenda by inspiring, educating and by mobilizing people into action.

On 23 April, the UNESCO Director-General will award the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize to an individual or organization that has made an outstanding contribution to the defence of press freedom.

On 23 to 24 April, the 5th Academic Conference on Safety of Journalists will be hosted in collaboration with University of Leiden. The Academic Conference is focused on press freedom and media capture and its aim is to bridge the gap between academic research, policy-making and journalism.

As in the previous years, WPFC 2020 will also host a Youth Newsroom, which will bring on board young journalists and journalism students to cover the event and expand their reporting skills.

On 24 April, the event will feature the first-ever World Press Freedom Festival that includes cultural events and performances such as workshops and film screenings. The Festival is dedicated to wider celebrations of WPFD and to a broader audience. It invites youths and students to participate in the celebrations of press freedom and explore how they contribute to the future of free and independent media.


Type of Event Category 8-Symposium
Start 18.10.2020 14:00 local time
End 20.10.2020 14:00 local time
Date to be fixed 0
Focal point McCabe, Saorla
Organizer UNESCO Communication and Information Sector, Freedom of Expression and Safety of Journalists Section and the Kingdom of the Netherlands
Contact Saorla McCabe (email:
Country Netherlands
City The Hague
Venue The World Forum
Street Churchillplein 10
Permanent Delegation Contact
Major Programme
Language of Event English, French
Estimated number of participants
Official Website
Link 1 World Press Freedom Day
Link 2 UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize 2020
Link 3
Link 4