May 3rd is celebrated worldwide as the World Press Freedom Day, a day to raise awareness of the importance of freedom of the press and to remind governments of their duty to respect and uphold the right to freedom of expression. The Day was officially declared by the United Nations General Assembly in 1993 and is expected to serve as an “opportunity to call upon each and every Member State to integrate free, independent and pluralistic media, as well as universal access to information, within their policies in order to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development."
World Press Freedom Day is now coordinated by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and each year it brings together media professionals, press freedom organizations and UN agencies to assess the state of press freedom worldwide, and discuss solutions to address existing challenges. The purpose of World Press Freedom Day is “to evaluate press freedom around the world; to defend the media from attacks on their independence; and to pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the exercise of their profession.”
"On World Press Freedom Day, I call for an end to all crackdowns against journalists – because a free press advances peace and justice for all." - António Guterres, United Nations Secretary-General
Each conference is centered on a theme related to press freedom. This year’s theme is: "Critical Minds for Critical Times: Media’s role in advancing peaceful, just and inclusive societies".
Every year since 2002 Reporters without Borders release a Press Freedom Index, ranking 180 according to the level of freedom available to journalists. In 2017 World Press Freedom Day main event is hosted in Jakarta, Indonesia that ranks 124 on the index.
"Whether in the form of written word, spoken word, video, or still image; content has the power to influence the minds and hearts of both the masses and world leaders, for the better. At PVBLIC, we believe that the simple, yet invaluable, freedoms of unencumbered access to information, and the right to express one's self, inherently brings this world together as members of the human race, instead of a planet of divided nations and people. It is the media's responsibility to use this awesome power to present a balanced view of our world. It is in our shining of light on our flaws that we bring ourselves out of the darkness of ignorance, and become aware that a change is needed. It is in the celebration of our collective triumphs that they help create the inspiration and confidence that we can continue to make a difference in this world." - stated Daniel Wilkins, Executive Director of PVBLIC Foundation
Communication and information drive positive change. Only a well-informed and inclusive society can work towards ensuring a better future.
Today, and everyday, stand up for freedom of expression and freedom of information. Happy World Press Freedom Day!