World Press Freedom Day was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in December 1993, following the recommendation of UNESCO’s General Conference. Since then, 3rd May, the anniversary of the Declaration of Windhoek is celebrated worldwide as World Press Freedom Day.
It is an opportunity to:
• celebrate the fundamental principles of press freedom; assess the state of press freedom throughout the world;
• defend the media from attacks on their independence; and
• pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the line of duty.
The theme of the 2018 celebration highlights the importance of an enabling legal environment for press freedom, and gives special attention to the role of an independent judiciary in ensuring legal guarantees for press freedom and the prosecution of crimes against journalists.
To preserve the freedom of the press and to maintain and improve the standards of newspapers and news agencies in India and to inculcate principles of self-regulation among the press, the Government of India under the Press Council Act, 1978 has set up Press Council of India , an autonomous, statutory, quasi -Judicial authority.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has stressed that a free press makes a stronger democracy! He added that today, let us reaffirm our commitment towards steadfastly supporting a free press. It is the multiplicity of ideas and human expression that makes us more vibrant as a society. He also applauded all those who have been working tirelessly to uphold freedom of press. It is due to these countless women and men that the spirit of a free press is significantly enhanced. PM Modi also appreciated the proactive role of everyone on social media for their commendable work towards safeguarding the freedom of press and expression.
Meanwhile, UN Secretary-General António Guterres on World Press Freedom Day 2018 called on governments to strengthen press freedom, and to protect journalists.
It is hoped that through World Press Freedom Day, in coming days, we will be successful towards forming a healthy, free, fearless and more responsible media.