"On World Press Freedom Day 2018, I call on governments to strengthen press freedom, and to protect journalists. Promoting a free press is standing up for our right to truth." — António Guterres, United Nations Secretary-General
World Press Freedom Day is annually observed on May 3 to inform the international community that freedom of the press and freedom of expression are fundamental human rights. This day reminds people that many journalists brave death or face jail to bring daily news to the public.
.This year’s global theme is ‘Keeping Power in Check: Media, Justice and The Rule of Law’, and will cover issues of media and the transparency of the political process, the independence and media literacy of the judicial system, and the accountability of state institutions towards the public. The Day will also examine contemporary challenges of ensuring press freedom online
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, the anniversary of the Declaration of Windhoek is celebrated worldwide as World Press Freedom Day.
It is an opportunity to:
- celebrate the fundamental principles of press freedom;
- assess the state of press freedom throughout the world;
- defend the media from attacks on their independence;
- and pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the line of duty.
2018 Theme: Keeping Power in Check:
Media, Justice and The Rule of Law
The theme of the 2018 celebration highlights the importance of an enabling legal environment for press freedom, and gives special attention to the role of an independent judiciary in ensuring legal guarantees for press freedom and the prosecution of crimes against journalists.
At the same time, the theme addresses the role of the media in sustainable development, especially during elections - as a watchdog fostering transparency, accountability and the rule of law. The theme also aims to explore legislative gaps with regard to freedom of expression and information online, and the risks of regulating online speech.
Within the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the contribution of journalists and media workers is most associated with Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16 of peace, justice and strong institutions. In order to reach this goal, effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels must be developed, and press freedom is essential for this.
World Press Freedom Committee
World Press Freedom Committee was established in 1976 by a batch of independent journalists to promote and defend press freedom and cover 44 media organizations from around the world. The organization is a member of the International Freedom of Expression Exchange which functions in cooperation with several other organizations for press freedom, human rights experts, global advisers and journalists. The organization is located in Argentina.