Since 1993, 3 May is observed as World Press Freedom Day. In December 1993, United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 3rd May as World Press Freedom Day to mark the anniversary of Declaration of Windhoek on Promoting an Independent and Pluralistic African Press.
World Press Freedom Day theme for 2022 is “Journalism under digital siege”.
The objective of World Press Freedom Day is to raise awareness of the importance of freedom of the press and remind governments of their duty to respect and uphold the right to freedom of expression enshrined under Article 19 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights
UNESCO attributes this day as an opportunity to
- celebrate the fundamental principles of press freedom;
- assess the state of press freedom throughout the world;
- defend the media from attacks on their independence;
- and pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the line of duty.
WORLD TRENDS IN FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION AND MEDIA DEVELOPMENT: GLOBAL REPORT 2021/2022
In the report published in 2021, UNESCO recorded 400 killings of journalists from 2016 to 2020. In India, 22 journalists were killed during the perion 2016-2020. Mexico with 61 and Afghanistan with 51 stands first and second respectively on the number of journalists killed in the five year period.
World Press Freedom Index
Norwary ranks first in the World Press Freedom Index (WPFI) with an overall score of 92.65. The ranking is based on political, economic, legislative, social and securiy indicators. There were no killings and no journalists was imprisoned in Norway. India stands at 150 with one journalist killed and 13 imprisoned. India scored 41.00 points in the index.
World community has taken commendable efforts to increase the freedom of speech and expression. It is to be noted that in the recent years, there has been a systematic evaluation and progression in the way the journalists are treated. UNESCO released guidelines for UN Country Teams on how to effectively engage with the Universal Periodic Review, human rights records of all UN member countries, to foster freedom of expression, access to information and safety of journalists.