World Press Freedom Day 2020: Media and Press are important parts of human society. They risk their lives at times or may even have to face tough situations in order to bring the news from different corners of the world in front of the public. Hence, it is a static responsibility of the general public as well as the higher authorities to respect these important elements of the society.
World Press Freedom Day is celebrated every year on the 3rd of May in order to honour the freedom of the press and also to celebrate the freedom of speech. The day is also observed to provide enlightenment to different strata of the society that freedom of speech is an important point in human rights.
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Background of World Press Freedom Day
The General Assembly in the United Nations established World Freedom Day in 1993 to promote the independence of the Africa Press. This was followed by the Windhoek Declaration that was established to maintain free press. As the declaration was made on the 3rd of May, hence the special day is observed each year on 3rd May.
The declaration specifically talks about the significance of a free press and mentions how it is important in the economic development of a nation. Though World Press Freedom Day has been observed since 1993, it was in the year 1997 when UNESCO came up with the Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize for the individuals who have worked towards free expression. The award name was kept after the Columbian journalist Guillermo Cano, who was murdered in the year 1986 during his research about drug barons.
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2020 Theme: Journalism without Fear or Favour
The sub-themes for this year are:
- Safety of Women and Men Journalists and Media Workers
- Independent and Professional Journalism free from Political and Commercial Influence
- Gender Equality in All Aspect of the Media
What happens on Press Freedom Day?
Normally, the day is not a public holiday but it is observed as the day when people honor and respect the team who is working day and night to bring out the most important news in front of the public.
There are so many people across the world whose day starts with a newspaper in hand. This is all possible due to the journalists and other press and media team members involved in gathering news and presenting them in the form or a newspaper or over news channels or on a news website. There have been many incidents when the field journalists have died in the process of getting information from the most deadly locations.
Recently, the pandemic that is haunting the whole world is also not able to stop the media firms to perform their responsibilities. These individuals risk their lives, to bring out the exact information from different parts so that the general public can be aware of the things happening around while being safe at home. Of course, there are certain boundaries that have been set now for the press individuals also in the midst of COVID-19, so that they can stay safe and also they do not become a carrier of the virus.
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This particular day offers the entire general public and other individuals a moment when they can pay a tribute to these media and press-related people. There are different organizations and communities across the world who also organize different events such as webinars, art exhibitions, award nights, and others to pay a tribute to these individuals from the press world.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Why is World Press Freedom Day celebrated?
Ans. World Press Freedom Day is observed on 3 May every year to celebrate the principles of freedom of press and to defend media sector from the attacks on press freedom.
Q. What is the theme of World Press Freedom Day?
Ans. The theme for 2020 is Journalism without Fear or Favour.
Q. Why is press freedom important?
Ans. Press freedom is important so that printer, reporters and publishers can share or publish the true state of facts without any interference from any organisation, state, nation or individual.
Q. When is National Press Day?
Ans. 16 November is celebrated as National Press Day in India.