World Press Freedom Day

World Press Freedom Day Quick Facts - IN

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2024 Date3 May 2024
2025 Date3 May 2025

World Press Freedom Day

World Press Freedom Day in
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World Press Freedom Day History

World Press Freedom Day celebrates the fundamental principle of press freedom and highlights its essentials to a functioning society. It provides a platform to analyze 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 line of duty. The day aims to encourage and develop international initiatives in favor of press freedom. It also serves as a reminder of the need to respect international declarations of press freedom and encourage journalistic ethics and integrity.

The Day was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1993, following a recommendation from UNESCO's General Conference. India, having a rich history of a vibrant press dating back to the times of nationalism, recognizes this day with a deep appreciation for the role press plays in democracy. The issues relevant to the Indian context include maintaining press freedom against the backdrop of increasing political pressures, ensuring safety for journalists, and leveraging opportunities provided by digital technologies while confronting their challenges, such as disinformation.

In India, World Press Freedom Day is marked by a host of activities including seminars, workshops, and cultural events organized by media houses, civil society, and government organizations. These forums provide journalists an opportunity to share experiences and wrestle with the challenges and implications of their work. It is a moment of reflection and planning for the press community in the country. World Press Freedom Day occurs on 3rd May each year, ensconcing it as a crucial date to underscore the significance of fearless and impartial reporting.

Facts about World Press Freedom Day

  • The theme for World Press Freedom Day in 2023 was Shaping a Future of Rights: Freedom of expression as a driver for all other human rights.
    In 2022 the theme was Journalism under Surveillance.
  • According to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 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. – Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
  • In the landmark Bennett Coleman & Co. vs Union of India case in 1973, the Supreme Court held that freedom of the press is a part of freedom of speech and expression under Article 19(1)(a) of the Indian constitution. Thus, the press in India enjoys constitutional protection.
  • Journalists in India often face threats and violence in the line of work, with many instances of attacks on journalists being reported. Impunity for those who target journalists is also an issue, further endangering press freedom.

Top things to do in India for World Press Freedom Day

  • Get your inner journalist active on social media. The internet has given birth to a citizen journalist movement that harnesses the power of millions who previously had no voice. We all have cameras in our pockets and access to an audience of millions on social media.
  • Attend an event. There are dozens of events celebrating WPFD, these conferences bring together journalists and media workers to discuss current issues. UNESCO offers more info.
  • Explore the Khudai Khidmatgar movement and the role of the press in Indian Independence at the Rajghat Gandhi Memorial Museum located in New Delhi.
  • Check out the Indian Institute of Journalism and New Media located in Bangalore to learn about the history of press freedom in India.

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