After a year of prevalent attacks on journalists across the world, World Press Freedom Day is being celebrated to honor lost journalists and press advocates fighting for the free press.
The World Press Freedom Day is celebrated on May 3rd. It was established by the decision of the General Assembly of the United Nations to raise awareness of the importance of free press. According to the International Federation of Journalists 95 journalists were killed last year but only a few cases of killing and torturing media workers made waves around the world. One such case is certainly the case of the Saudi journalist of the Washington Post, Jamal Khashoggi, whose death has shaken international relations between the Middle East and the United States.
The United Nations is highlighting this year the vital role of a free press for democracy, particularly during elections and urging governments worldwide to take all necessary safety measures to protect journalists, especially international correspondents as well as investigative journalists. Particularly in light of the growing trends of attacks on employees in the media field. This starts with an understanding of the fact that no democracy can come to life without guarantees of fundamental freedoms, which include freedom of speech and free expression of thought.
The role of media in electoral processes
Around the world, a variety of events are organized today to raise awareness of the importance of a free press in the 21st century. This year’s main event celebrating the day of freedom of the press will be held in Adis Abeba, Ethiopia’s capital from May 1 to 3, and the main theme of the conference will be the role of media in electoral processes, as well as the ever-present topic of disinformation in the media. However, similar events are being held in cities around the world with the support of government institutions or self-initiative in the form of NGO projects or individuals.
In Serbia, media freedom day will be marked both at the United Nations office and at the American Corner in Belgrade, where young people will actively participate in the discussion about the importance of the free press in Serbia and the world. The Freedom of the Media Project at the American Corner in Belgrade is an initiative that was formed within the framework of the Conversation Workshop.
Reporters of Balkan International Reporting Network, aware of the unfavorable situation of media workers in Serbia, are using this day to raise awareness of the undemocratic regime and the daily threats they were exposed to doing their job.