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Celebrate World Press Freedom Day on May 3
By Erica Esteves, Public Policy Assistant
Every year on May 3, the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) celebrates World Press Freedom Day. The UN General Assembly proclaimed World Press Freedom Day in December 1993, following the recommendation of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) General Conference.
The goal of World Press Freedom Day is to bring awareness to violations of press freedom by shining a spotlight on countries that censor, suspend and even shut down publications. May 3 also serves as a day of remembrance for those journalists who lost their lives in the exercise of their profession.
NAA is fighting on multiple fronts for freedom of the press. In particular, we are fighting for a shield law to enable journalists to protect the identities of their confidential sources in federal court. Last month we also celebrated Sunshine Week, which promotes government transparency and the public’s right to know what the government is doing.
WAN-IFRA continues this push for press freedom on a global scale. WAN-IFRA partners with its members, such as NAA, to exchange ideas, information and experiences in the news publishing industry.
Leading up to World Press Freedom Day, WAN-IFRA has been hosting 30 Days for Freedom, a campaign that highlights the plight of jailed journalists worldwide by focusing on 30 individuals who are currently imprisoned because of their work.
WAN-IFRA encourages the use of the hashtag #FreethePress to publicize the campaign on social media and promote the importance of global press freedom.
The focus of this year’s World Press Freedom Day is on three inter-related themes: the media’s importance in development; the safety of journalists and the rule of law; and the sustainability and integrity of journalism. An international conference will be held at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris May 5-6.
For more information on the campaign and World Press Freedom Day, please visit: www.worldpressfreedomday.org
First Published: April 30, 2014
About the Author
Erica Esteves is the public policy assistant at NAA. She is a master's candidate in the strategic communication program at American University. She has an interest in communication and policy.
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