WORLD PRESS FREEDOM DAY: KEEPING POWER IN CHECK: MEDIA, JUSTICE AND THE RULE OF LAW

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Every year, World Press Freedom Day is a day 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. World Press Freedom Day was proclaimed by 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.

The theme chosen for this year’s World Press Freedom Day is “Keeping Power in Check: Media, Justice and the Rule of Law.” It explores the interaction between the judiciary and the media, and their complementary roles in fostering transparency, accountability and governance. Dozens of World Press Freedom Day events are being organized around the world.

We, at the World Assembly World, deem that World Press Freedom Day acts as a reminder of the importance of a free press in a functioning and safe society and serves to commemorate the journalists who have lost their lives in support of the free press. In a time when media coverage is prone to fear-mongering and sensationalism, taking the time to appreciate and seek out journalism with integrity has never been more important.

WAY commemorate World Press Freedom by encouraging and developing initiatives in favor of press freedom, as well as assessing the status of press freedom worldwide. Our efforts include the promotion of human rights including media expression to young people serving as a reminder of the need to respect the importance of press freedom. In reflecting the issue of press freedom and professional ethics amongst media, we believe that young people should be exposed to different opinions, freedom of speech and freedom to publish their desires.