May 3 is World Press Freedom Day




PRESS RELEASE FROM UNITED NATIONS

Every year, May 3rd is a date which celebrates the fundamental principles of press freedom; to evaluate press freedom around the world, to defend the media from attacks on their independence and to pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the exercise of their profession.
 
May 3 was proclaimed World Press Freedom Day the UN General Assembly in 1993 following a Recommendation adopted at the twenty-sixth session of UNESCO's General Conference in 1991. 

It serves as an occasion to inform citizens of violations of press freedom - a reminder that in dozens of countries around the world, publications are censored, fined, suspended and closed down, while journalists, editors and publishers are harassed, attacked, detained and even murdered. 

It is a date to encourage and develop initiatives in favour of press freedom, and to assess the state of press freedom worldwide. 

It serves as a reminder to governments of the need to respect their commitment to press freedom and is also a day of reflection among media professionals about issues of press freedom and professional ethics. Just as importantly, World Press Freedom Day is a day of support for media which are targets for the restraint, or abolition, of press freedom. It is also a day of remembrance for those journalists who lost their lives in the exercise of their profession. 

The global theme for 2014 is “Media Freedom for a Better Future: Shaping the Post-2015 Agenda” which focuses 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 on May 5-6.

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