World Press Freedom Day
Shaping a Future of Rights 

The Society of Editors is today joining the United Nations, media organisations and worldwide press freedom organisations in celebrating the 30th anniversary of #WorldPressFreedomDay.

Today marks 30 years since the UN General Assembly proclaimed an international day for press freedom. Held on 3 May each year, World Press Freedom Day celebrates the importance of press freedom and freedom of expression and acts as a reminder to governments of the need to respect their commitment to a free press. This year’s theme is ‘Shaping a Future of Rights: Freedom of expression as a driver for all other human rights’.

Marking today’s event, Dawn Alford, Executive Director of the Society of Editors, pictured right, said: “World Press Freedom Day exists as a reminder of the necessity of a free press in all healthy democracies. 30 years since the declaration of an international day for press freedom, journalists worldwide continue to face threats, harassment and abuse for simply carrying out their important roles. Now, more than ever, governments worldwide must look to uphold and strengthen their commitment to this vital human right.”

To mark #WorldPressFreedomDay, the Society has compiled some of the most memorable front pages and articles from the past 18 months as a reminder of the power of a free press to hold power to account on behalf of the public.

A selection of the images can be viewed on our Twitter and LinkedIn pages as well as our website. To find out more about #WorldPressFreedomDay and the important work being undertaken to ensure freedom of expression for all, click the link below and follow the hashtag on Twitter.

Meanwhile The Guardian newspaper has asked for support top keep the press free of censorship.

Their appeal states that jailed, murdered, censored, exiled, or sacked: journalists are under attack across the world, and the free press is in peril.

Media freedom is poor in 70% of countries, whether because of state oppression, violence, financial rout, censorship, nefarious tycoons or murderous gangsters.

This matters. The key role of a free media – to challenge those in power – helps make a better society. To let it die is to let dangerous men like Vladimir Putin, Recep Erdoğan and Donald Trump spread their toxic versions of reality.

Or local authorities such as West Dunbartonshire Council who refuse to accord the same rights to The Democrat as it does to other journalists covering their affairs.

The Guardian spokesperson, Mark Rice-Oxley, Executive editor, supporters, said: “This is why, I’m asking you to consider supporting our independent, fearless journalism this week, as we mark World Press Freedom day. Will you support us today?

“Reliable information is a public good. But the evidence of decline is all around us. Scores of journalists are murdered or imprisoned each year.

“Governments from India to Turkey, Poland to China are making it ever harder for reporters who want to ask difficult questions and write about the failings of authority.”

West Dunbartonshire Council refuse to speak with The Democrat because we once asked them to turn up the sound at a meeting in order that the press and public could hear what was happening. They then decided to throw us out of the meeting.

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