World Press Freedom Day

World Press Freedom Day Quick Facts - NG

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2024 Date3 May 2024
2025 Date3 May 2025

World Press Freedom Day

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World Press Freedom Day History

World Press Freedom Day serves to acknowledge the importance of an independent press in contributing to informed societies. The United Nations established this day to promote and uphold the principles of freedom of the press. The observance is instrumental in fostering understanding of press freedom issues among citizens, facilitating discussions related to media independence, and enforcing legal safeguards for journalists.

Press freedom has a significant history and relevance in Nigeria due to the role it has traditionally played in promoting democracy and human rights. World Press Freedom Day, is particularly significant in Nigeria because the media has often come under governmental and non-governmental threats and intimidation. On this day, the Nigerian press and its supporters seek to highlight these challenges and advocate for a safer environment for journalism to flourish. The press in Nigeria diligently serves as watchdogs, promoting transparency and accountability in governance.

In Nigeria, World Press Freedom Day is observed through an array of activities. Events often include symposia, public debates, and presentations aimed at discussing media independence issues. Journalists often share stories about the difficulties they face, further highlighting the need for a freer press. This promotes public understanding of the importance of press freedom while encouraging civic agencies and organizations to uphold free press standards. World Press Freedom Day occurs each year on May 3rd .

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
  • During the military rule in Nigeria (1983-1998), press freedom was heavily suppressed. More than 150 journalists, including Dele Giwa, were killed. Many more were jailed without trial.
  • In 2012, Nigeria was ranked 115th out of 179 countries on the Press Freedom Index by Reporters Without Borders, which is a clear reflection of the challenges Nigerian journalists face in their line of duty.

Top things to do in Nigeria 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.
  • Watch The Battle for Nigeria's Media , a documentary by BBC Africa that explores the challenges faced by Nigerian media organizations and journalists in the face of a government crackdown on dissent and freedom of speech.
  • Read about press freedom in the novel Silencing the Press: How the Nigerian Government Uses Lawsuits and Legal Threats to Limit Media Freedom by the Human Rights Watch.

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