Press freedom challenged by surveillance overreach and lack of safety
This year’s World Press Freedom Day May 3, the United Nations is focusing on three different aspects of press freedom: freedom of information as a fundamental human right, freedom from censorship and surveillance overreach, and safety for online and offline journalism.
Despite the U.N.’s efforts to highlight the importance of press freedom, the right to it is still severely challenged by the deaths and imprisonments of several bloggers and journalists all around the world. WatchMojo.com published on its YouTube channel the following video that provides 10 crucial facts about last year’s main press freedom violations.
World Press Freedom Day was established by the U.N. General Assembly to raise awareness about the importance of press freedom and to remind governments of their duty to uphold the right to freedom of expression.
The occasion is marked in Article 19 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and celebrates the anniversary of the Declaration of Windhoek, a statement of free press principles put together by African newspaper journalists in Windhoek, Namibia, during a UNESCO seminar on May 3, 1991. The day has subsequently been declared as World Press Freedom Day or World Press Day.
For the occasion, UNESCO confers the Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize on a deserving individual, organization or institution that makes an outstanding contribution to the defense or promotion of press freedom anywhere in the world. The prize is named in honor of Guillermo Cano Isaza, a Colombian journalist who was assassinated in front of the offices of his newspaper in Bogotá, on Dec. 17, 1986.
UNESCO also marks the day each year by bringing together media professionals, press freedom organizations and U.N. agencies to assess the freedom index worldwide and discuss solutions for related challenges.
Cover credit: KAL 2016/Freedomhouse.org (full link)