World Press Freedom Day is being observed across the globe including in Pakistan on Sunday (May 3, 2020).
This year the theme of the day is “Journalism without Fear or Favour”.
3 May acts as a reminder to governments of the need to respect their commitment to press freedom and is also a day of reflection among media professionals about issues of press freedom and professional ethics. Just as importantly, World Press Freedom Day is a day of support for media which are targets for the restraint, or abolition, of press freedom. It is also a day of remembrance for those journalists who lost their lives in the pursuit of a story.
United Nations Secretary General António Guterres in his message on Press Freedom Day said journalists and media workers are crucial to helping us make informed decisions. As the world fights the COVID-19 pandemic, those decisions can make the difference between life and death.
He said on this Day, we call on governments — and others — to guarantee that journalists can do their jobs throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. As the pandemic spreads, it has also given rise to a second pandemic of misinformation, from harmful health advice to wild conspiracy theories.
The UN Secretary General said the press provides the antidote: verified, scientific, fact-based news and analysis. But since the pandemic began, many journalists are being subjected to increased restrictions and punishments simply for doing their jobs.