World Press Freedom Day or World Press Day is celebrated around the world on May 3 every year. The freedom of the press was declared as a necessity by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) back in the year 1993. Today, on May 3, 2018, World Press Day celebrates its 25th year of coming into existence.
“In the case of news, we should always wait for the sacrament of confirmation.”
RTIwala Reveals: In the last 5 years, journalism and freedom of the press have apparently hit a new low. Be it about fake news stories or an appalling no. of deaths of journalists under suspicious circumstances, the very credibility of the Indian media is depleting at an alarming rate. With the mainstream media publishing columns veiled in clickbait, independent journalism is undoubtedly the need of the hour. But what’s even more necessary is to ensure a safer haven for the press.
Media, being the fourth pillar of a democracy, is the key element behind one’s freedom of expression. The expression of one’s opinion is based out of knowledge, which in turn, originates from the information one gathers from various sources. Hence, protecting media persons or journalists is of great importance for any country that intends to strike a favorable socio-political balance and otherwise.
Today, as we ring in 25 years of celebrating the World Press Day, here a few surprising realities that you had never known before.
The worst year for the Freedom of Press
According to reports published by the Committee to Protect Journalists or CPJ, the year 2015 was the worst for the freedom of press across the world. With the murder of as many as 135 journalists and 199 of them being jailed, the freedom of press faced a mighty jeopardy during the period.
Countries with the biggest threat to the Freedom of Press
As per reports, Mexico, Honduras, and Argentina suffer from the biggest threats to one’s freedom of expression. A steep upward trend in the number of murders and jail terms for journalists has only been detrimental to the freedom of the press in these countries.
What does Article 19 of the 1948 Universal Declaration on Human Rights mean for the World Press Day?
A harbinger of freedom of the press, the article states that everyone “has the right to freedom of opinion and expression, this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to see, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”
Where does India stand on this World Press Day?
25 years since the Freedom of Press or the World Press Day was officially declared as a human right by the UNGA, India has seen a downturn of two points this year, says the World Press Freedom Index, 2018. India currently ranks at 138, just ahead of Pakistan at 139. The Freedom of Press Index is published annually by Reporters Without Borders.
How safe are journalists in India?
Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Pakistan, and Somalia are the top 5 most dangerous countries for journalists and freedom of press. Currently, India ranks 6th on the safety of journalists, reported by Committee to Protect Journalists.