World Press Freedom Day today
ISLAMABAD: The World Press Freedom Day will be observed throughout the globe, including Pakistan, today (May 3).
Throughout the world, May 3 serves as an occasion to inform the public of violations of the right to freedom of expression and as a reminder that many journalists brave death or jail to bring people their daily news.
World Press Freedom Day is a day designated by the United Nations 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 enshrined under Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The date was chosen by the UN General Assembly in 1993, following a recommendation adopted at the 26th session of Unesco’s general conference in 1991. The World Press Freedom Day is a day 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 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.
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 Bogoto, on December 17, 1986. Cano’s writings had offended Colombia’s powerful drug barons.
The Unesco also marks the 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 around a theme related to press freedom, including good governance, media coverage of terrorism, impunity and the role of media in post-conflict countries
This 2-day conference is being held in Maputo, Mozambique to coincide with the World Press Freedom Day. Although the World Press Freedom Day has only been celebrated since 1993, it has much deeper roots in the United Nations: Article 19 of the 1948 Universal Declaration on Human Rights states: “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers”
Throughout the world, May 3rd now serves as an occasion to inform the public of violations of the right to freedom of expression and as a reminder that many journalists brave death or jail to bring people their daily news.
The World Press Freedom Day is a day of action to encourage and develop initiatives in favour of the freedom of the press; a day to assess the state of press freedom worldwide; a day to remind governments to respect their commitments to press freedom; a day to alert the public and to increase awareness of the importance of freedom of the press; a day of reflection to encourage debate among media professionals on the issues of press freedom and professional ethics; a day of remembrance for journalists who have lost their lives in the exercise of their profession; and a day of support for media which fall victim to any measures which restrain, or seek to abolish, freedom of the press.
Source: The News