Home > Calendar > Holidays > World Press Freedom Day

World Press Freedom Day

Quick Facts

World Press Freedom Day focuses on the importance of the freedom of the press and freedom of expression.

Local names

NameLanguage
World Press Freedom DayEnglish
Día Mundial de la Libertad de PrensaSpanish
יום חופש העיתונות עולמיHebrew
اليوم العالمي لحرية الصحافةArabic
세계 언론 자유의 날Korean
Internationaler Tag der PressefreiheitGerman

World Press Freedom Day 2014

Saturday, May 3, 2014

World Press Freedom Day 2015

Sunday, May 3, 2015
List of dates for other years

World Press Freedom Day is annually observed on May 3 to inform the international community that freedom of the press and freedom of expression are fundamental human rights. This day reminds people that many journalists brave death or face jail to bring daily news to the public.

World Press Freedom Day

Media professionals, including photojournalists, who risk their lives in the line of duty are recognized on World Press Information Day.

©iStockphoto.com/ Jess Wiberg

What do people do?

World Press Freedom Day gives people the chance to pay tribute to media professionals who risked or lost their lives in the line of duty. Many communities, organizations and individuals take part in this day through various events such as art exhibitions, dinners featuring keynote speakers, and awards nights to honor those who risked their lives to bring news to the world.

Public life

World Press Freedom Day is a global observance and not a public holiday.

Background

World Press Freedom Day was established by the General Assembly of the United Nations in December 1993 as an outgrowth of the Seminar on Promoting an Independent and Pluralistic African Press. This seminar took place in Namibia in 1991 and led to the adoption of the Windhoek Declaration on Promoting Independent and Pluralistic Media.

The Windhoek Declaration called to establish, maintain and foster an independent, pluralistic and free press. It emphasized the importance of a free press for developing and maintaining democracy in a nation, and for economic development. World Press Freedom Day is celebrated annually on May 3, the date on which the Windhoek Declaration was adopted.

Although World Press Freedom Day has only been celebrated since 1993, it has much deeper roots in the United Nations. Article 19 of the 1948 Universal Declaration on Human Rights states that everyone “has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers".

Each year since 1997, the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize is awarded to honor the work of an individual or an organization defending or promoting freedom of expression, especially if it puts the individual’s life at risk. The award is named after a journalist murdered in 1986 after denouncing drug barons. Last year it was awarded posthumously to a Russian investigative reporter who was murdered in a contract-style killing in 2006.

World Press Freedom Day Observances

WeekdayDateYearNameHoliday typeWhere it is observed
TueMay 31994World Press Freedom DayUnited Nations observance 
WedMay 31995World Press Freedom DayUnited Nations observance 
FriMay 31996World Press Freedom DayUnited Nations observance 
SatMay 31997World Press Freedom DayUnited Nations observance 
SunMay 31998World Press Freedom DayUnited Nations observance 
MonMay 31999World Press Freedom DayUnited Nations observance 
WedMay 32000World Press Freedom DayUnited Nations observance 
ThuMay 32001World Press Freedom DayUnited Nations observance 
FriMay 32002World Press Freedom DayUnited Nations observance 
SatMay 32003World Press Freedom DayUnited Nations observance 
MonMay 32004World Press Freedom DayUnited Nations observance 
TueMay 32005World Press Freedom DayUnited Nations observance 
WedMay 32006World Press Freedom DayUnited Nations observance 
ThuMay 32007World Press Freedom DayUnited Nations observance 
SatMay 32008World Press Freedom DayUnited Nations observance 
SunMay 32009World Press Freedom DayUnited Nations observance 
MonMay 32010World Press Freedom DayUnited Nations observance 
TueMay 32011World Press Freedom DayUnited Nations observance 
ThuMay 32012World Press Freedom DayUnited Nations observance 
FriMay 32013World Press Freedom DayUnited Nations observance 
SatMay 32014World Press Freedom DayUnited Nations observance 
SunMay 32015World Press Freedom DayUnited Nations observance 
TueMay 32016World Press Freedom DayUnited Nations observance 
WedMay 32017World Press Freedom DayUnited Nations observance 
ThuMay 32018World Press Freedom DayUnited Nations observance 
FriMay 32019World Press Freedom DayUnited Nations observance 
SunMay 32020World Press Freedom DayUnited Nations observance 
Advertising

Other calendars

Related links