World Press Freedom Day

Frankly, it has become far too easy to interfere with the media’s key role in supporting fair elections and healthy democracies. As the Executive Director of the IFEX network writes, each World Press Freedom Day is an opportunity to renew our vow to make it difficult for those who try to do so.

We need to support a free and independent media; efforts to undermine them are on the rise, and we need to hear a diversity of voices and opinions more than ever. Our 2018 campaign images underscore the fact that one side of the story is never enough.

Indonesian soldiers watch as workers and contractors from the PT Freeport mining company travel in a convoy during a rally commemorating May Day in Timika, Papua province, 1 May 2017 , Antara Foto/Wahyu Putro A/via REUTERS

Two recent cases of violence against journalists in Papua highlight the empty promise of Press Law protections in Indonesia’s easternmost province, as well as the false hopes of President Joko Widodo, who more than two years ago promised to open foreign press access to the area.

Journalists protest the death of Tamour Khan, a satellite technician for SAMAA TV, in Karachi, Pakistan, 13 February 2017, AP Photo/Shakil Adil

A PPF report covering the period January 2016 to April 2017 points to indications that all branches of state are determined to control the media, rather than promoting a safe and secure environment for the growth of pluralistic democratic media institutions.

A vendor arranges newspapers at a newsstand outside Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 15 February 2017 , REUTERS/Lai Seng Sin

On World Press Freedom Day (WPFD) 2017, the Southeast Asian Press Alliance (SEAPA) shares a number of stories that demonstrate the devastating decline of free expression and press freedom in the region.


Ethiopian journalist Eskinder Nega, imprisoned since 2011, has been named IPI’s 69th World Press Freedom Hero.

Shutterstock/Everett Collection

As IFEX enters its 25th year, Executive Director Annie Game asks: Is freedom of the press still worth defending? More than ever.

A South African journalist takes part in a 26 February 2014 protest in Johannesburg against the arrest of an Al Jazeera crew in Egypt, AP Photo/Denis Farrell

We honour the bravery of journalists who face obstacles head on, and the ingenuity they show in getting around them. But journalists themselves cannot – and should not – be press freedom’s only line of defense.

Link to: Press freedom stories from around the world: The good, the bad, and the ugly

To mark World Press Freedom Day, take a tour of some events that are chilling – or warming – the climate for free media in countries around the globe.

A farmer listens to his transistor radio as he returns home from work near the village of Koumboula in southern Niger June 30, 2005., REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly

Access to information is the lifeblood of a free media and democratic society, a fact worth remembering as we mark World Press Freedom Day.

Through their courageous work or activism, the “100 information heroes” profiled by RWB help to promote the freedom to “seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”

Pyay Te Maung/Mizzima News

Recent arrests of journalists have raised doubts about Burma’s commitment to freedom of the press, says a senior US State Department official. A Mizzima freelance reporter was recently arrested, a day after helping to organise a protest calling for greater media freedom and the release of six imprisoned journalists.


What do democracy and press freedom have in common? Why is impunity such an important issue in Latin America and the Caribbean? Watch this video commemorating World Press Freedom Day to find out.

Al Jazeera journalist Peter Greste of Australia stands in a metal cage during his trial in a court in Cairo, 24 March 2014, REUTERS/Al Youm Al Saabi Newspaper

On World Press Freedom Day, CPJ is calling on authorities to release 10 journalists silenced by authorities, as well as all others being held in relation to their work.

During an 8 June 2012 march in Istanbul, journalist Ahmet Sık and others call for their colleagues' freedom, DEMOTIX/Fulya Atalay

Turkish journalist Ahmet Şik is an ardent defender of freedom of expression, and has devoted his career to denouncing corruption and human rights abuses.