St Kitts and Nevis (WINN): According to the United Nations, World Press Freedom Day is on Wednesday, May 3rd, and is a date to, protect, defend and evaluate press freedom internationally, observe the basic principles of press freedom and respect the legacies of journalists who died on the job.
This year’s World Press Freedom Day is focused on the protection of journalism from censorship, and fostering an environment that is conducive to original and quality reporting so that the media can substantially contribute to the Sustainable Development Goal to, “promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.”
The UN-Secretary General’s message on World Press Freedom Day stresses the importance of journalists in providing a voice to those usually unheard or ignored, and as a result, calls upon leaders to defend press independence.
“Journalists go to the most dangerous places to give voice to the voiceless. Media workers suffer character assassination, sexual assault, detention, injuries and even death. We need leaders to defend a free media. This is crucial to counter prevailing misinformation. And we need everyone to stand for our right to truth. On World Press Freedom Day, I call for an end to all crackdowns against journalists – because a free press advances peace and justice for all. When we protect journalists, their words and pictures can change our world.”
Reporters Without Borders, a non-profit organization with the mission to safeguard the freedom of information globally, released its 2017 World Press Freedom Index on May 3rd, which ranks countries on the level of freedom available to the media. Norway was the top-ranked country on the World Press Freedom index.