World Press Freedom Day

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BY KENDY MUTURI

World Press Freedom Day, is celebrated on May 3rd to prompt governments worldwide to respect and protect the freedom of expression of journalists and media workers.

It is also a day to acknowledge the significance of independent media in strengthening democracy and honoring those who have lost their lives while in their duties.

In 2023, We celebrate world press Freedom Day’s 30th anniversary with the theme “Shaping a future of rights: freedom of expression as a driver for all other human rights.” 

According to UNESCO, the theme marks the “enabling element of freedom of expression to enjoy and protect all other human rights.” The important role of journalists and media workers who provide errorless and timely information to the public should be remembered.

World Press Freedom Day was first demonstrated by UNESCO in 1991 in reaction to the increasing number of attacks on journalists and media outlets around the world.

In December 1993, world press Freedom Day was manifested by the UN General Assembly backing the recommendation of UNESCO’s general conference.

May 3rd was declared world press Freedom Day on December 20, 1993. The date was chosen to celebrate the adoption of the Windhoek Declaration, a statement of press freedom put across by African journalists in 1991.

The day helps in escalating awareness about the importance of press freedom highlighting the critical role that journalists and media outlets play in developing democracy, and human rights.

It also serves as a mnemonic to the government of its responsibility to respect and uphold the right to freedom of expression and to protect the safety of journalists and media workers.

On this day media society groups and media workers come together to discuss issues related to press freedom and also to establish strategies to overcome the challenges facing journalists and media outlets globally.

Partners from the media, academia, and civil society were invited to organize events in New York and around the world centered on this year’s theme.

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