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World Press Freedom Day 2020- Theme and Host Country

World Press Freedom Day is a United Nation Initiative to celebrate the fundamental principles of the press and also act as a reminder for the Government to respect the commitment of press freedom. The United Nations General Assembly started World Press Freedom Day in 1993 and following a proposal which is adopted at the 26th General Conference of the UNESCO in 1991, since then it is observed annually on 3rd of May. This day also marks the anniversary of the Windhoek Declaration.

The purpose of celebrating this day is to focus on press freedom and professional ethics for media professionals. It’s an opportunity to pay tribute to journalists whose lives have been destroyed by duty; honor basic values of media freedom; evaluate the condition of the freedom of media worldwide; protect media from attacks on their independence.

“Freedom of Expression – a Human Right”

 As stated in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that Freedom of Expression is a fundamental human right.


World Press Freedom Day 2020 theme- “Journalism without fear or favour.”

This year in an increasingly complicated media environment, UNESCO has initiated a worldwide media and social media campaign which focuses on the theme “Journalism without fear or favour.” The is divided into three sub-themes which will focus on-

  • 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

Today, questions about journalism’s independence have expanded to new issues which include Web platforms that have become the main curators of news and cultural content in which some operating business models have encouraged misinformation and hate speech at the detriment of journalism’s prominence.

On May 3, there will be national and local activities worldwide, with others in the form of online discussions and workshops for World Press Freedom Day.

Image Source: UN

World Press Freedom Conference 2020 Host Country

Since 1993, the World Press Freedom Conference was organized annually which gives an opportunity to journalists, members of civil society, national authorities, scholars, and the general public to address the emergent issues of press freedom and journalist protection and to work together to find solutions.

The Netherlands is the host country for World Press Freedom Conference 2020.

The Conference was scheduled to be held at the World Forum in The Hague by UNESCO and the Netherlands from 22-24 April and now it will be held at the same location from 18th to 20th October. The World Press Freedom Day (3 May) and the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists (2 November) will be a joint celebration.

In response to the decision by the World Health Organization to declare COVID-19 a global pandemic, the decision was made to postpone the conference as to reduce the costs and risks for the involved people.

Among several other events, the program included the first-ever international assembly of legal actors, an academic conference on journalists’ health, a youth-focused press freedom festival, and the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize award ceremony.

UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize award

On the 3rd of May, the UNESCO/ Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize award 2020 winner will be announced and the award ceremony will be held in October during the World Freedom Press Conference in the Hague.

The establishment of the prize is an initiative of the Executive Board of UNESCO and is formally conferred on 3 May by the Organization’s Director-General on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day.

The award was named in the honour of Guillermo Cano Isaza, he was a Colombian Journalist who has been murdered on 17 December 1986 in front of the offices of his newspaper El Espectador in Bogotá, Colombia.

World Freedom Press Conference Youth Newsroom 2020

The 2020 World Press Freedom Conference will be hosting a Youth Newsroom to provide young journalists with the ability to report and develop their journalism skills on the World Press Freedom Conference.

Twenty young applicants have been chosen from countries across the globe they are bloggers/vloggers, artists, authors, and cartoonists from the press. You will have full access to the World Forum Youth Newsroom

Swikriti Dandotia