May 2, 2019

Every year UNESCO commemorates the World Press Freedom Day (WPFD) on 3 May by celebrating the fundamental principles of press freedom, to evaluate press freedom around the world, and to defend the media from attacks on their independence.

This year UNESCO celebrates 26th of WPFD and will spotlight the role of the media in democracy: “Media for Democracy: Journalism and Elections in Times of Disinformation.” This is a good opportunity to discuss current challenges faced by media in elections and democratic processes, in general, and the media’s potential in supporting peace and reconciliation processes.

WPFD 2019 theme is closely interlinked with the objectives of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) focusing on good governance, democracy, respect of human rights, justice and rule of law. As recognized in Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16, peace and democracy are preconditions for equitable and sustainable development. When freedom of expression and safety of journalists are protected, the media can play a vital role in preventing conflict and in supporting peaceful democratic processes. 

This year the  messages raise many important issues, such as responsibility, openness, impartiality, mediation, and critical thinking. Also, the testimonies from journalists and UN agencies staff were gathered in the form of video interviews on “Importance of Media in Democracy Development” which are planned for broadcasting on “Sevimli” TV channel and posting in UN social media networks.

Together with the Uzbekistan University of Journalism and Mass Communication (UzUJCM) it is planned to organize a meeting on “SDG dialogue: What students should know about Global Goals and WPFD 2019.” The purpose of this meeting is to improve knowledge of students (future journalists) about global development goals and UN related issues.

Other events organized by partners to celebrate WPFD include the following:

  • International Forum on WPFD “Media for Democracy: Journalism in a Period of Global Change. Truth and Disinformation, Professionalism and Incompetence” (co-organized with National Association of Electronic Mass Media);
  • National contest of journalists “Oltin Qalam” (Golden pen) where UNESCO has a nomination on best media coverage of “Access to Information/ Protection of Journalists’ Professional Activities.”

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