World Press Freedom Day today
Published: 11:16 AM, 3 May 2021 Updated: 01:42 PM, 3 May 2021
World Press Freedom Day today; Photo: Collected
With the theme “Information as a Public Good”, the World Press Freedom Day 2021 is being observed in the country as elsewhere across the world on Monday.
The day is annually observed on May 3 to inform all that freedom of the press and freedom of expression are fundamental human rights.
The day is especially significant for the press, which deals with information on a global scale, to effectively use and disseminate it to the world citizenry while empowering journalists.
World Press Freedom Day was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in 1993 following a recommendation adopted at the 26th session of UNESCO’s General Conference in 1991.
The day pays homage to the memory of the journalists who lost their lives in the course of their professional duties, following the basic principles of freedom of the press and the establishment of free media, evaluating the freedom of the media worldwide, taking an oath to resist interference in freedom.
To mark the day, a message from UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres was broadcasted on Sunday from the UN office in Dhaka.
“The challenges we face worldwide during the Covid-19 pandemic are identified as reliable, verifiable and universal in saving lives, building a strong, stable society,” he said in a statement, entitled “30 Years of the Windhoek Declaration”.
During epidemics and other emergencies, including climatic emergencies, journalists and media workers help us “uncover rapidly changing and often irresistible information”, including addressing harmful mistakes and lies, Antonio Guterres added.
To eve of the day, Dr. Iftekharuzzaman, TIB’s executive director, said Article 39 of the Constitution guarantees freedom of thought and conscience as well as freedom of speech and expression of every citizen and freedom of the press. “But in the face of various pressures and restrictions, both open and hidden, this constitutional right has been transformed into a cover document.”