Around the world we are not hearing happy news regarding the media world. Though the profession is glamorous and challenging, the mediavists are being targeted by various groups. They are murdered and attacked pathetically only for doing their “duty” sincerely. In 2012 alone, UNESCO’s Director-General condemned the killings of 121 journalists, almost double the annual figures of 2011 and 2010. The annual figures show shocking realities of the journalists’ works to guard the estates.
Considering the role and importance of journalists’ jobs, twenty years back, UNESCO declared May 3 as the World Press Freedom Day (WPFD). World Press Freedom Day was established by the General Assembly of the United Nations in December 1993 as an outgrowth of the Seminar on Promoting an Independent and Pluralistic African Press. This seminar took place in Windhoek, Namibia from 29 April to 3 May 1991 and led to the adoption of the Windhoek Declaration on Promoting Independent and Pluralistic Media.
The declaration stated: “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers." This document calls for free, independent, pluralistic media worldwide, characterizing free press as essential to democracy and as a fundamental human right.
It has its root from the United Nations’ Article 19 of the 1948 Universal Declaration on Human Rights that states that everyone “has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers”.
Theme for World Press Freedom Day 2013 is “Safe to Speak: Securing Freedom of Expression in All Media” and puts the spotlight in particular on 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.
UNESCO established a prize to honour the work of an individual or an organization