World Press Freedom Day (WPFD) is celebrated annually on 3 May to commemorate the
fundamental principles of media freedom, to highlight long-standing and emerging threats to that
freedom and to pay tribute to journalists and activists who have risked their safety to advance the
public’s access to news and information.
This year, WPFD celebrates its 20th anniversary; the day was first officially proclaimed during the
United Nations General Assembly in 1993. The theme of this year’s World Press Freedom Day is
“Safe to Speak: Securing Freedom of Expression in All Media”. This theme highlights the issues of
safety of journalists, combating impunity for crimes against freedom of expression, and securing a
free and open Internet as the precondition for safety online.
Freedom of expression is fundamental to building democracy. Citizens must be allowed to discuss
and debate issues, to challenge their governments and make informed decisions. Journalists,
bloggers, media organisations and individuals must be allowed to operate and to express themselves
freely and safely and within international standards. Governments need to respond to legitimate
aspirations with reform not repression. Encouraging an open and effective press serves to improve
the environment for long-term social, political and economic stability.