World Press Freedom Day | May 3
May 3 acts as a reminder to governments of the need to respect their commitment to press freedom.
It 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 pursuit of a story.
Every year, May 3 is a date that celebrates the fundamental principles of press freedom, to evaluate press freedom around the world, defend the media from attacks on their independence, and pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the exercise of their profession.
World Press Freedom Day was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 1993 following a Recommendation adopted at the twenty-sixth session of UNESCO's General Conference in 1991. This in turn was a response to a call by African journalists who in 1991 produced the landmark Windhoek Declaration (link is external) on media pluralism and independence.
At the core of UNESCO's mandate is freedom of the press and freedom of expression. UNESCO believes that these freedoms allow for mutual understanding to build sustainable peace.
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.
Last 2021, the World Press Freedom Day theme “Information as a Public Good” serves as a call to affirm the importance of cherishing information as a public good and exploring what can be done in the production, distribution, and reception of content to strengthen journalism, and to advance transparency and empowerment while leaving no one behind. The theme is of urgent relevance to all countries across the world. It recognizes the changing communications system that is impacting our health, our human rights, democracies, and sustainable development.
To underline the importance of information within our online media environment, World Press Freedom Day 2021 will highlight three key topics:
- Steps to ensure the economic viability of news media;
- Mechanisms for ensuring transparency of Internet companies;
- Enhanced Media and Information Literacy (MIL) capacities enable people to recognize and value, as well as defend and demand, journalism as a vital part of information as a public good.
Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.” Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.