World Press Freedom Day is an annual event celebrated on 3rd May declared by the United Nations General Assembly to promote the importance of the Press Freedom and uphold the human rights to freedom of expression. This day pay tribute to the journalists, editors, and publishers who are died in defense of the public’s right to know.
History of World Press Freedom Day
In December 1993, the United Nations General Assembly was established the World Press Freedom Day, in Seminar to Promoting an Independent and Pluralistic African Press. In 1991 in Namibia, this seminar takes place and led to the acceptance of the Windhoek Declaration on encouraging Independent and Pluralistic Media.
Since 1993, World Press Freedom Day has been celebrated, and it has deep roots in the United Nations. In Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, it is stated that “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.”
The Windhoek declare to called to maintain, preserve and promote an independent, pluralistic and free press. It draws attention to the importance of a free press for progress and maintaining democracy in the country, and for economic development. Every year on May 3 World Press Freedom Day has celebrated the date on which the Windhoek Declaration was adopted.
UNESCO marks World Press Freedom Day by conferring the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize every year from 1997, on an individual or group that defends and promotes free expression, especially if it puts the individual’s life at risk. The prize is awarded by the recommendation of an independent jury of 14 news professionals. Non-governmental organizations of regional and international are working for press freedom. On 17 December 1986, the prize is named after a journalist murdered after denouncing drug barons.
What do People do on this day?
World Press Freedom Day is an opportunity for the people to pay tribute to the media professionals who endanger or lost their lives in the line of duty. Every year, UNESCO also mark the World Press Freedom Day by bringing together media professionals, press freedom organizations and UN agencies to evaluate the state of press freedom worldwide and talk about solutions for addressing challenges. Many organizations, communities, and persons take part in this day through various events and activities such as art exhibitions, dinners featuring theme speakers, and awards nights to honor those who endanger their lives to bring news to the world.
Is it a Public Holiday?
The United Nations World Press Freedom Day is an annual observance and not a public holiday. Public life is not affected by this day.