World Press Freedom Day 2019 Date, History And Significance: All About The Day To Mark Free Press
Journalists in Turkey protesting against alleged curb in press freedom under Erdogan regime | (Photo Credits: Getty Images)

The World Press Freedom Day 2019 is scheduled to be observed on May 3 this year. The main event will be observed in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia. The day is intended to commemorate the struggle for a free press and reiterate the high standards and ethics of journalism -- which makes the profession a service to the society rather than a commercial operation.

The central theme for World Press Freedom Day 2019 is "Media for Democracy: Journalism and Elections in Times of Disinformation". The theme assumes high relevance at a time when fake news has hit a spree of third world nations, and media coverage at times of elections being alleged to be biased and lopsided, favouring one political group over another. World Press Freedom Index Report 2019: India Slips to 140 Out of 180 Countries

What is World Press Freedom Day - Significance and History?

The World Press Freedom is one of the calendar events planned, organised and promoted by the United Nations. The event is aimed at preserving the sanctity of journalism and upholding the principle of free press in a democracy.

Significance of World Press Freedom Day

  • An opportunity to celebrate the fundamental principles of press freedom.
  • Opportunity to assess the state of press freedom throughout the world.
  • Opportunity to defend the media from attacks on their independence.
  • Day to pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the line of duty.

History of World Press Freedom Day

The first World Press Freedom Day was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 1993. May 3 was chosen as the date of celebration on the recommendation of UNESCO's General Conference. The date was chosen as it marked the anniversary of Windhoek Declaration -- a charter prepared by the association of African journalists to maintain the highest standards of reportage in underdeveloped and emerging parts of the world.

The vision of Windhoek Declaration, whose agenda has been reiterated and publicisied throughout the world in form of the World Press Freedom Day 2019, is to "promoting an independent and pluralistic press", the UNESCO had said.