26th World Press Freedom Day 2019: theme is “Journalism and Elections in Times of Disinformation”

May 3 is considered World Press Freedom Day. The 26th celebration of  World Press Freedom Day was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in December 1993, following the recommendation of UNESCO’s General Conference. Since then, 3 May, is celebrated worldwide as World Press Freedom Day.This year’s theme “Media for Democracy: Journalism and Elections in Times of Disinformation” discusses current challenges faced by media in elections, along with the media’s potential in supporting peace and reconciliation processes. It is an opportunity to: celebrate the fundamental principles of press freedom; assess the state of press freedom throughout the world; defend the media from attacks on their independence; and pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the line of duty.
From the early days of freedom fight press is playing an important role. Though India is ranking lower from the last 3 years. From 1990 to till date 80 journalists has been killed. India holds rank 140 according to press freedom Index.

The main celebration of World Press Freedom Day 2019 will take place in Addis Ababa, from 1 to 3 May 2019. The event will provide a platform for multiple actors to exchange on current issues, threats and achievements concerning freedom of the press. The overall theme of the event will be the role of media in elections and democracy.  The event will also host an academic conference on the safety of journalists which will allow researchers from different disciplines to share and discuss recent research. This will be the fourth edition of the conference, aimed at bridging the gap between academic research, policy-making and journalism.

Let’s take a look at some of the example in India in 2019:

April 25, 2019: Assam’s leading daily Dainik Asom’s reporter Rajan Deka was attacked in the state’s Nalbari district while he was on his way home.

April 10, 2019: Manipur Journalist Kishorechandra Wangkhem Released From Jail After 134 Days. Manipur journalist Kishorechandra Wangkhem was arrested under the stringent National Security Act, for his social media posts criticizing the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

March 15, 2019: The editor of The Shillong Times Patricia Mukhim on March 8 was imposed with a fine of Rs 200,000 by the Shillong High Court in a contempt case for two of her articles published in December 2018, which dealt with the benefits to judges and family post-retirement.

March 5, 2019: The Jammu and Kashmir government stopped providing advertisements to Greater Kashmir and Kashmir Reader from February 26 to carry on operations.

February 2, 2019: Suman Pandey, a journalist working with a digital portal ‘The Voices’, was assaulted by BJP party workers and local leaders in Chhattisgarh for covering a meeting to review the party’s defeat in the state assembly elections.

Earlier in the year, four Kashmiri photojournalists were injured with shotgun pellets while covering an encounter in Shopian district.

As in the previous years, WPFD will host a Youth Newsroom, which will bring on board young journalists and journalism students to cover the event and expand their reporting skills. A number of cultural events and performances will be included in the program.

photo: twitter


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