World Press Freedom Day 2019: May 3 has been observed as World Press Freedom Day every year or just World Press Day which was declared by the United Nations General Assembly. The day has been formed in order to raise awareness of the significance of freedom of the press and retell governments of their responsibility to respect and maintain the right to freedom of expression which is documented under Article 19 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The day also marks the anniversary of the Windhoek Declaration, a statement of free press ideologies put together by African newspaper journalists in Windhoek in the year 1991.
UNESCO also marks the World Press Freedom Day every single year by bringing the media professionals all together along with press freedom organizations as well as UN agencies to measure the state of press freedom internationally and to also converse on the solutions for addressing challenges. Every conference is involved on a theme connected to press freedom, comprising good governance, media coverage of terrorism, liberty and the role of media in post-conflict nations.
World Press Day Prizes
UNESCO also marks the day by discussing the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize on a worthy individual, establishment or institution that has made an exceptional impact to the defense and/or promotion of press freedom anyplace in the world, particularly when this has been attained in the face of risk or threat.
It was created in the year 1997 and the prize is awarded on the reference of an independent panel of 14 news specialists. Names are submitted by local and worldwide non-governmental organizations functioning for press freedom as well as by the UNESCO member states.
The Prize is named after a Colombian journalist, Guillermo Cano Isaza, who was killed in front of the offices of his newspaper on 17 December 1986 at El Espectador, in Bogotá. He was assassinated as his writings had offended Colombia’s powerful drug barons. This prize is also a medium to give honor and to remember Guillermo Cano Isaza.
World Press Day 2019 Observances
On May 2, the Director-General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay, is going to launch the main event in order to mark the event along with Ethiopian President, Sahle-Work Zewde, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, Vera Songwe, as well as African Union Commission Deputy Chairperson, Amb. Kwesi Quartey.
It is expected that there are going to be more than one thousand participants in total, comprising representatives from civil society, media, professional associations, and universities as well as from the justice sector. Parallel and meeting conferences on solidification the role of media faced with new challenges, and accepting the relations in the middle of media, democracy, and elections are going to be held together with the conference.
An academic conference will also be held on 1 May, and it is going to present new research on journalists safety. The objective is to promote dialogue in the middle of researchers as well as political actors working on mutual subjects.
This year, UNESCO has also launched the Defend Journalism Campaign that inspires and boosts the media to display their unity and harmony for a free and independent press through the usage of banners on their printed publications as well as on their digital platforms.