According to the UN Chief, I urge all governments to do everything in their power to support a free, independent and diverse media.
"Today, we commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Windhoek Declaration for the Development of a Free, Independent and Pluralistic African Press. Despite dramatic changes in the media over the past three decades, the Declaration’s urgent call for press freedom and free access to information is as relevant as ever. Let's reflect on its message, and renew our efforts to protect media freedom – so that information remains a lifesaving public good for all," said Gutteres in his video message on World Press Freedom Day 2021.
This year’s World Press Freedom Day, marks the 30th Anniversary of the UNESCO Windhoek Declaration for the Development of a Free, Independent and Pluralistic Press.
That declaration led to the recognition by the UN of the World Press Freedom Day to be celebrated every 3rd of May.
After 30 years, the historic connection made between the freedom to seek, impart and receive information and the public good remains as relevant as it was at the time of its signing.
The importance of freely accessing reliable information, particularly through journalism, has been demonstrated by the covid-19 pandemic: in times of crisis such as this, information can be a matter of life or death.
The covid-19 crisis has placed journalists and quality journalism and public interest media once again at the center of the global discourse.
Reporting on the crisis, through initiatives such as the popularization of scientific facts, the compilation and frequent updating of data, fact-checking or monitoring spending, has proved vital.
Around the world the covid-19 pandemic has forced the closure of media houses around the world, reporters have been harassed and attacked for their reporting on the handling of the pandemic, and the public has struggled to discern verified information from the falsehoods that have flooded the internet.