World Press Freedom Day
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World Press Freedom Day 2018

World Press Freedom Day 2018 is an important celebration that is taking place today as it does each year. UNESCO established the date in 1991, and since then the world has achieved many  milestones relating to more freedom in the press. However, there is much that can still be done for a free flow of information. This year, the central theme of the day is “Keeping Power in Check: Media, Justice and the Rule of Law”. It deals mainly with the public accountability of the press, the role of investigative journalism in democracy, as well as new challenges that the world faces in the digital age of information.

Importance of World Press Freedom Day

May 3rd marks the annual World Press Freedom Day celebration, but also the day that the world adopted the Windhoek Declaration on Promoting an Independent and Pluralistic Press. A number of journalists in Africa drafted the declaration at a time when the media was suffering under a particular intensity in censorship and a strong need to inform the public of on-going events around the world. Essentially, a free press is a vital component of participatory democracy. It allows power to be better distributed through the dissemination of information. The media is able to inform citizens by providing fact-driven investigative articles on current issues and therefore allowing the public to make informed decisions about politics and society. In this context and in today’s digital information age, the World Press Freedom Day is an important way to celebrate the free press, but also to promote the ethics of reporting.

Keeping Power in Check: Media, Justice and the Rule of Law

This year’s central theme of World Press Freedom Day is “Keeping Power in Check: Media, Justice and the Rule of Law.” It focuses on two principal topics

  • The legal frameworks around press freedoms; and
  • The role that a free press plays in public transparency, particularly in elections.

The main event of the celebration is taking place in Accra, Ghana where speakers and participants from around the world will take stock of the current situation of a free press. They will also discuss solutions to continue improving press freedom. However, for those of us not participating in the main event, UNESCO also provides a list of activities that will take place around the world. In addition, you can access information resources to share on social media or elsewhere such as the Cartoons for Freedom of Expression, and the 25 Seconds for #PressFreedom campaign. Besides the main theme, World Press Freedom Day will also address the way that the new digital platforms impact press freedom, and particularly the challenges that they may pose. We have also put a short list of videos on the free press that you might find interesting.

Investigative Journalism: the Cornerstone of Free Press

As children, we have all played the “broken telephone” game. One person states a sentence and others share it by whispering it on to the next person. By the time the last player repeats the sentence, it usually has nothing to do with what the first person said. This is a good illustration of how the flow of information can work in real life.

Often, the information that we receive, even from seemingly trusted sources, can be completely different to the truth. Add some information manipulation and censorship to this, and you have the perfect recipe for a public that is not well informed. As such, freedom of the press is tightly related to investigative journalism. Professionals in the area take special care to do deep-dive research into a variety of subjects including policy, environment, international affairs, and economy. These are the stories that make a difference in the world because they are written in order to tell the truth. The central theme of this year’s World Press Freedom Day puts a special focus on this type of media. Watchdog journalism is in the limelight of this year’s celebration.

At Raptim, we believe that the public deserves honest and true information. That’s why we have put together a list of resources both for investigative journalists and for those who would like to refer to independent publications.

Let Us Help You

We believe our world is a better place when transparency and accountability are present at all levels. This makes for a safer global environment and protects the basic human rights and dignity of every person. That is why we devote ourselves to serving those who serve the world. By being a genuine global travel organization, our experienced staff is reachable via diverse means of communication at any given time. Use our quick address locator to contact your nearest Raptim office should you have any questions. You can also follow our blog for more stories and travel information.

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