2017 World Press Freedom Day

Annual Fall

3rd May

List of World Press Freedom Day dates by year

20183rd MayThursday
20193rd MayFriday
20203rd MaySunday
20213rd MayMonday
20223rd MayTuesday
20233rd MayWednesday
20243rd MayFriday
20253rd MaySaturday
20263rd MaySunday
20273rd MayMonday

In 1993, the UN General Assembly proclaimed May 3rd each year to be World Press Freedom Day.

World Press Freedom Day recognizes the value of freedom of expression, and the sacrifices journalist have made to attain this freedom. It was created, and is sponsored, by the United Nations. While we enjoy this freedom in the United States, freedom of the press, and freedom of expression, is not a given right in many countries.  

Each year, UNESCO awards the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize to someone who has made a major contribution towards journalistic freedom.

World Press Freedom Day activities include UN sponsored conferences and seminars on this issue. Teachers are encouraged to create lesson plans. As individuals, we can learn more about the issues. And, we can support efforts to further freedom of the press.

World Press Freedom Day

World Press Freedom Day was established by the General Assembly of the United Nations in December 1993 as an outgrowth of the Seminar on Promoting an Independent and Pluralistic African Press. This seminar took place in Namibia in 1991 and led to the adoption of the Windhoek Declaration on Promoting Independent and Pluralistic Media.

The Windhoek Declaration called to establish, maintain and foster an independent, pluralistic and free press. It emphasized the importance of a free press for developing and maintaining democracy in a nation, and for economic development. World Press Freedom Day is celebrated annually on May 3, the date on which the Windhoek Declaration was adopted.

Although World Press Freedom Day has only been celebrated since 1993, it has much deeper roots in the United Nations. Article 19 of the 1948 Universal Declaration on Human Rights states that 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".

Each year since 1997, the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize is awarded to honor the work of an individual or an organization defending or promoting freedom of expression, especially if it puts the individual’s life at risk. The award is named after a journalist murdered in 1986 after denouncing drug barons. Last year it was awarded posthumously to a Russian investigative reporter who was murdered in a contract-style killing in 2006.




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