World Press Freedom Day

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
World Press Freedom Day
World Press Freedom Day 2017 poster
Observed byUNESCO
DateMay 3
Next timeMay 3, 2025 (2025-05)
Related toCelebrates the fundamental principles of press freedom, 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.

The United Nations General Assembly declared May 3 to be World Press Freedom Day[1][2] or just World Press Day, observed to raise awareness of the importance of freedom of the press and remind governments of their duty to respect and uphold the right to freedom of expression enshrined under Article 19 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and marking the anniversary of the Windhoek Declaration, a statement of free press principles put together by African newspaper journalists in Windhoek in 1991.


2023 Press Freedom Index[3]
  Good situation
  Satisfactory situation
  Noticeable problems
  Difficult situation
  Very serious situation
  Not classified / No data

In 2018, a conference sponsored by the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations was canceled.[4][5] In 2018, several news organizations joined for an ad campaign.[6] Slain journalists in Kabul were remembered.[7]


GIS Director, Clement Wulf-Soulage in 2017

UNESCO marks World Press Freedom Day by conferring the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize on a deserving individual, organisation or institution that has made an outstanding contribution to the defence and/or promotion of press freedom anywhere in the world, especially when this has been achieved in the face of danger. Created in 1997, the prize is awarded on the recommendation of an independent jury of 14 news professionals. Names are submitted by regional and international non-governmental organisations working for press freedom, and by UNESCO member states.[8]

The Prize is named in honour of Guillermo Cano Isaza, a Colombian journalist who was assassinated in front of the offices of his newspaper, El Espectador, in Bogotá, on 17 December 1986. Cano's writings had offended Colombia's powerful drug barons.[citation needed]

UNESCO conference[edit]

UNESCO also marks World Press Freedom Day each year by bringing together media professionals, press freedom organisations and UN agencies to assess the state of press freedom worldwide and discuss solutions for addressing challenges. Each conference is centred on a theme related to press freedom, including good governance, media coverage of terrorism, impunity and the role of media in post-conflict countries.[9]



Year City Theme
1998 England London "Press Freedom is a Cornerstone of Human Rights."[11]
1999 Colombia Bogotá "Turbulent Eras: Generational Perspectives on Freedom of the Press."
2000 Switzerland Genève "Reporting the News in a Dangerous World: The Role of the Media in conflict settlement, Reconciliation and peace-building."
2001 [a] Namibia Windhoek "Combating racism and promoting diversity: the role of free press."
2002 Philippines Manila "Covering the War on Global Terrorism."
2003 Jamaica Kingston "The Media and Armed Conflict."
2004 Serbia Belgrade "Who decides how much information?".
2005 Senegal Dakar "Media and Good Governance".
2006 Sri Lanka Colombo "The media as drivers of change."
2007 Colombia Medellín "The United Nations and the freedom of press."
2008 Mozambique Maputo "Celebrating the fundamental principles of press freedom."
2009 Qatar Doha "Dialogue, mutual understanding and reconciliation."
2010 Australia Brisbane "Freedom of information: the right to know".
2011 United States Washington, D.C. "21st Century Media: New Frontiers, New Barriers".
2012 Tunisia Tunis "New Voices: Media Freedom Helping to Transform Societies"
2013 Costa Rica San José "Safe to Speak: Securing Freedom of Expression in All Media".
2014 France Paris "Media Freedom for a Better Future: Shaping the post-2015 Development Agenda".
2015 Latvia Riga "Let Journalism Thrive! Towards Better Reporting, Gender Equality, & Media Safety in the Digital Age".
2016 Finland Helsinki "Access to Information and Fundamental Freedoms".
2017 Indonesia Jakarta "Critical Minds for Critical Times: Media's role in advancing peaceful, just and inclusive societies".
2018 Ghana Accra "Keeping Power in Check: Media, Justice and the Rule of Law".[12]
2019 Ethiopia Addis Ababa "Media for Democracy: Journalism and Elections In Times of Disinformation".[12]
2020 Netherlands The Hague "Journalism without Fear or Favour".[13]
2021 Namibia Windhoek "Information as a Public Good"[13]
2022 Uruguay Punta Del Este "Journalism under Digital Siege".[13]
2023 United States New York City "Shaping a Future of Rights: Freedom of expression as a driver for all other human rights".
2024 Chile, Santiago de Chile "A Press for the Planet: Journalism in the face of the environmental crisis".[13]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ Held jointly with the commemoration of the 10th Anniversary of the Windhoek Declaration. The occasion was marked by the signing of the African Charter on Broadcasting.


  1. ^ United Nations General Assembly Session 48 Verbatim Report 85. A/48/PV.85 page 29. Retrieved 2008-07-15.
  2. ^ United Nations General Assembly Session 48 Document 624. Report of the Economic and Social Council – Draft Decision II A/48/624 page 22. 17 December 1993. Retrieved 2008-07-15.
  3. ^ "2023 World Press Freedom Index – journalism threatened by fake content industry". Reporters Without Borders. 2023. Retrieved 2023-05-03.
  4. ^ "NLP declines to accept terms for participation in U.N. agency event for World Press Freedom Day: The News Literacy Project". Archived from the original on 2018-05-03. Retrieved 2018-05-11.
  5. ^ "Charges of Censorship as U.N. Press Freedom Day Event Is Called Off". The New York Times. 2018-05-03. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on 2018-05-12. Retrieved 2018-05-11.
  6. ^ Stelter, Brian. "'Read more, listen more:' Newsrooms unite for World Press Freedom Day". CNNMoney. Archived from the original on 2018-05-11. Retrieved 2018-05-11.
  7. ^ "Slain Afghan journalists remembered on World Press Freedom Day". Arab News. 2018-05-03. Archived from the original on 2018-05-11. Retrieved 2018-05-11.
  8. ^ "UNESCO is seeking nominations for UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize 2018 – DEADLINE 15 February". UNESCO. 13 February 2018. Archived from the original on 2018-05-12. Retrieved 2018-05-11.
  9. ^ "World Press Freedom Day 2021: History, Significance And Much More". Outlook (India). 3 May 2021. Archived from the original on 2021-05-03. Retrieved 2021-05-03.
  10. ^ "Previous celebrations – United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization". Archived from the original on 2014-05-03. Retrieved 2014-05-03.
  11. ^ "Freedom of expression: A fundamental human right underpinning all civil liberties". UNESCO. 2015-04-14. Archived from the original on 2021-05-03. Retrieved 2021-05-03.
  12. ^ a b "World Press Freedom Day". UNESCO. June 8, 2020. Archived from the original on May 7, 2020. Retrieved May 3, 2019.
  13. ^ a b c d "World Press Freedom Day – EN". United Nations. Archived from the original on 2020-05-02. Retrieved 2020-05-03.

External links[edit]