World Press Freedom day is celebrated every year on May 3 to celebrate the fundamental principles of press freedom which is sadly shrinking throughout the world day by day. This day signifies the importance of press freedom, the need of defending the media from attacks on their independence and a tribute to journalists and reporters who lost their lives in exertion of their jobs.
This year, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres made a call for ending the crackdown on journalists who are the ‘voice of voiceless’. Guterres, in his 44 seconds long video called for the defence of a free media stressing that it was crucial to counter misinformation and everyone must stand for their right to know truth. Amidst the overall sense of shrinking liberty, jeopardizing right to information, internet access and online freedom, the press cannot be truly free. And the ones who try to ‘spill out’ the truth are face demise and a bleaker future. And as per RSF 15 reports, India ranks at 136 out of 180 which is very sad to know.
The intruders and perpetrators of media include the police, politicians, Twitter trolls, mafias, unruly mobs and even the guardians of the law – the lawyers. And that is exactly why the World Press Freedom day is observed. PM Modi hailed the importance of press freedom on twitter calling it ‘vital in democracy’. Listen up to their own words?
World Press Freedom Day is a day to reiterate our unwavering support towards a free & vibrant press, which is vital in a democracy.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 3, 2017
The international day was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 1993 as per the Recommendation adopted in 26th Session of UNESCO’s General Conference in 1991 which was a response to a call by African journalists who in 1991 produced the landmark Windhoek Declaration on media pluralism and independence.
On this Press Freedom Day, let’s speak out the truth and not camouflage it with a goody shield of words, because it is about each and every citizen’s Right to Information. After all, silence may kill a democracy but a free press talks.