The United Nations Educational, Scientific an, Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), in partnership with the Government of f Ethiopia and the African Union Commission, will jointly host the 26th edition of World Press Freedom Day, scheduled to take place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on May 2 and 3, 2019.
UNESCO has also opened online application for individuals and organizations that wish to attend the celebration. Applications for the event are free and are available online. Registration which closes on February 21, 2019 is available here for interested persons.
The theme of this year’s Word Press Freedom Day is ‘Media for Democracy: Journalism and Elections in Times of Disinformation’. In line with the theme, the two-day international conference will serve as an opportunity to explore and discuss new issues and obstacles facing the press in electoral times, as well as the media’s capacity to help build a culture of peace and reconciliation.
The Day will also examine concerns such as the safety of journalists both online and offline and how the world can better push back against a growing climate of disinformation.
The main celebration in Addis Ababa will feature two plenaries, various breakout sessions, a youth newsroom, a photo exhibition, a cartoon exhibition, and a film screening. In addition, UNESCO, in collaboration with a local university, will hold its annual Academic Conference on the safety of journalists.
Pre-events will be organized by partner organizations on May 1 at the Headquarters of United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA).
May 3 of every year is set aside as a date to celebrate the fundamental principles of press freedom, to evaluate press freedom around the world, to defend the media from attacks on their independence and to pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the exercise of their profession.
The World Press Freedom Day was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 1993 following a recommendation adopted at the twenty-sixth session of UNESCO’s General Conference in 1991. This in turn was a response to a call by African journalists who in 1991 produced the landmark Windhoek Declaration on media pluralism and independence.
For more information about the World Press Freedom Day, please visit: https://en.unesco.org/commemorations/worldpressfreedomday