World Press Freedom Day

World Press Freedom Day shines a light on the importance of a free press and reminds governments of their duty to uphold the right to freedom of expression that’s contained in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. A free and independent press is the core institution that connects the public to the information they need to make informed decisions for themselves and hold government officials accountable. This day falls on May 3rd annually, and it’s a good day for people to advocate for freedom of the press.

The History of World Press Freedom Day

World Press Freedom Day was officially created at the 26th session of UNESCO’s General Conference in 1991. It was designed to inform citizens of violations regarding freedom of the press. It also serves as a reminder that in some places, social media accounts are suspended or censored, and that journalists all over the world are attacked and killed.

The History of Journalism

Although news dissemination has occurred throughout history, some historians point to 16th-century Venice as the birthplace of modern journalism. In this city at this time, the Venetian government published Notizie Scritte, or “Written Notices,” which cost the average person one Gazetta. A Gazetta was a Venetian coin, and its name would eventually come to mean newspaper or gazette.

By the 17th century, several newspapers were being published across Europe. As the years progressed, more and more newspapers cropped up, and by the time the 19th century rolled around, newspaper printing and distribution had been improved greatly.

From the 19th through the 20th centuries, newspapers became the preferred method of news distribution, but their importance began to decline thanks to the rise of cable news and then the Internet.

Some Interesting Facts About Journalism

As we dug deeper into World Press Freedom Day and found out all that journalists do, we just couldn’t resist the temptation to share that information in bullet form. Below are some facts about journalism that we discovered and would like to share now.

  • Since 2008, employment in journalism has been declining.
  • It’s estimated that by 2026, the job market for journalists will have shrunk by approximately 10%.
  • Almost 75% of people around the world have expressed concern over fake news.
  • Approximately 6 out of 10 Americans think social media sites have too much control over news content.
  • Journalists have gone undercover to bring in new information for a story for hundreds of years.
  • There’s a high demand for travel journalism at this point in time.
  • World news is deadline-driven.
  • Yahoo News receives approximately 175 million visitors a month.

Observing World Press Freedom Day

The importance of a free and independent press is greater than at any other point in human history. Citizens need to have access to reliable news without interference from the government. That’s why everyone needs to advocate for freedom of the press and remember the press’s importance in their daily lives.

When is it?
This year (2024)
May 3 Friday
Next year (2025)
May 3 Saturday
Last year (2023)
May 3 Wednesday
United Nations, Work & Occupation