[2019 World Press Freedom Day] Media for Democracy: Journalism and Elections in Times of Disinformation

About World Press Freedom Day

Following the recommendation of UNESCO's General Conference, the UN General Assembly announced World Press Freedom Day in December 1993. After that, the anniversary of the Declaration of Windhoek, 3 May, is honored worldwide annually as World Press Freedom Day. The Windhoek Declaration for the Development of a Free, Independent and Pluralistic Press is a statement of press freedom principles by African newspaper journalists in 1991. The Declaration was produced at a UNESCO seminar, "Promoting an Independent and Pluralistic African Press," held in Windhoek, the capital of Namibia, from 29 April to 3 May 1991.

World Press Freedom Day is an opportunity for us 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.

It serves as an occasion to inform citizens of violations of press freedom - a reminder that in dozens of countries around the world, publications are censored, fined, suspended and closed down, while journalists, editors, and publishers are harassed, attacked, detained and even murdered.

It is a date to encourage and develop initiatives in favor of press freedom and to assess the state of press freedom worldwide.

It serves as a reminder to governments of the need to respect their commitment to press freedom and is also a day of reflection among media professionals about issues of press freedom and professional ethics. Just as importantly, World Press Freedom Day is a day of support for media which are targets for the restraint, or abolition, of press freedom. It is also a day of remembrance for those journalists who lost their lives in the exercise of their profession.

2019 Theme: Media for Democracy: Journalism and Elections in Times of Disinformation

The 26th celebration of World Press Freedom Day is jointly organized by UNESCO, the African Union Commission and the Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. The main event will take place in Addis Ababa, on 1 – 3 May at the African Union Headquarters. Some 100 national events around the world are expected to complement the main celebration.This year's theme “Media for Democracy: Journalism and Elections in Times of Disinformation” discusses current challenges faced by media in elections, along with the media’s potential in supporting peace and reconciliation processes.

shutterstock_312535625-1-e1552577566317.jpg