By Spy Uganda
Kampala: The United Nations General Assembly declared May 3 to be World Press Freedom Day or just World Press Day, observed 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.
In Uganda, the day is celebrated to show solidarity with journalists and all associated with the media who brave the toughest conditions to disseminate information and bring news from across the country to the homes of Ugandans.
The Director-General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay, in a message on World Press Freedom Day said, “The theme of this year’s World Press Freedom Day, ‘Information As A Public Good’, underlines the indisputable importance of verified and reliable information.
UNESCO marks World Press Freedom Day by conferring the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize on a deserving individual, organisation or institution that has made an outstanding contribution to the defence and/or promotion of press freedom anywhere in the world, especially when this has been achieved in the face of danger.
Created in 1997, the prize is awarded on the recommendation of an independent jury of 14 news professionals. The Prize is named in honour of Guillermo Cano Isaza, a Colombian journalist who was assassinated in front of the offices of his newspaper, El Espectador, in Bogotá, on 17 December 1986. Cano’s writings had offended Colombia’s powerful drug barons.
Below Are Themes For Previous World Press Freedom Day Celebrations
|1998||England London||“Press Freedom is a Cornerstone of Human Rights.”|
|1999||Colombia Bogotá||“Turbulent Eras: Generational Perspectives on Freedom of the Press.”|
|2000||Switzerland Genève||“Reporting the News in a Dangerous World: The Role of the Media in conflict settlement, Reconciliation and peace-building.”|
|2001||Namibia Windhoek||“Combating racism and promoting diversity: the role of free press.” Held jointly with the commemoration of the 10th Anniversary of the Windhoek Declaration. The occasion was marked by the signing of the African Charter on Broadcasting.|
|2002||Philippines Manila||“Covering the War on Global Terrorism.”|
|2003||Jamaica Kingston||“The Media and Armed Conflict.”|
|2004||Serbia Belgrade||“Who decides how much information?”.|
|2005||Senegal Dakar||“Media and Good Governance”.|
|2006||Sri Lanka Colombo||“The media as drivers of change.”|
|2007||Colombia Medellín||“The United Nations and the freedom of press.”|
|2008||Mozambique Maputo||“Celebrating the fundamental principles of press freedom.”|
|2009||Qatar Doha||“Dialogue, mutual understanding and reconciliation.”|
|2010||Australia Brisbane||“Freedom of information: the right to know”.|
|2011||United States Washington, D.C.||“21st Century Media: New Frontiers, New Barriers”.|
|2012||Tunisia Tunis||“New Voices: Media Freedom Helping to Transform Societies”|
|2013||Costa Rica San José||“Safe to Speak: Securing Freedom of Expression in All Media”.|
|2014||France Paris||“Media Freedom for a Better Future: Shaping the post-2015 Development Agenda”.|
|2015||Latvia Riga||“Let Journalism Thrive! Towards Better Reporting, Gender Equality, & Media Safety in the Digital Age”.|
|2016||Finland Helsinki||“Access to Information and Fundamental Freedoms”.|
|2017||Indonesia Jakarta||“Critical Minds for Critical Times: Media’s role in advancing peaceful, just and inclusive societies”.|
|2018||Ghana Accra||“Keeping Power in Check: Media, Justice and the Rule of Law”.|
|2019||Ethiopia Addis Ababa||“Media for Democracy: Journalism and Elections In Times of Disinformation”.|
|2020||The Hague, Netherlands||“Journalism without Fear or Favour”.|
Happy World Press Freedom Day 2021!