污污漫畫

Secretary-General speaks to journalist in Antigua and Barbuda amid hurricane damage
Secretary-General António Guterres (left) speaks to journalists while visiting Barbuda to see firsthand the devastation left behind by Hurricane Irma (2017). The media shapes the public discourse about climate change and how to respond to it.
Photo:UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

A Press for the Planet: Journalism in the face of the environmental crisis

In 2024, is dedicated to the importance of journalism and freedom of expression in the context of the current global environmental crisis.

Awareness of all aspects of the global environmental crisis and its consequences is essential to build democratic societies. Journalistic work is indispensable for this purpose.

Journalists encounter significant challenges in seeking and disseminating information on contemporary issues, such as supply-chains problems, climate migration, extractive industries, illegal mining, pollution, poaching, animal trafficking, deforestation, or climate change. Ensuring the visibility of these issues is crucial for promoting peace and democratic values worldwide.

In the context of the world’s triple planetary crisis —climate change, biodiversity loss, and air pollution— dis-/misinformation campaigns challenge knowledge and scientific research methods. Attacks on the validity of science pose a serious threat to pluralistic and informed public debate. Indeed, misleading and false information about climate change can, in some cases, undermine international efforts to address them.

Dis-/misinformation about environmental issues can lead to a lack of public and political support for climate action, effective policies, and the protection of vulnerable communities affected by climate change, as well as of women and girls, as climate change tends to exacerbate existing inequalities.

To achieve sustainable development, it is necessary for journalists to report accurately, timely, and comprehensively on environmental issues and their consequences, as well as on possible solutions.

This requires a comprehensive strategy that includes:

  • Preventing and protecting against crimes committed against journalists.   
  • Ensuring the rights to freedom of expression, freedom of scientific research, and access to key sources of information, in addition to combating dis-/misinformation through journalism.   
  • Promoting the plurality, diversity, and viability of media, especially regional, local, indigenous, and/or community-based media.   
  • Ensuring that the governance of digital platforms foster the transparency of technology companies, their accountability, due diligence, user empowerment, and content moderation and curation based on international human rights’ standards, as indicated in UNESCO’s Guidelines for the Governance of Digital Platforms.
  • Promoting Media and Information Literacy programs to empower users with skills to engage and think critically in the digital environment.

World Press Freedom Day: Pioneering Foreign Correspondent Edith Lederer on Why Journalism Matters

Origins and purpose of the Day

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, the anniversary of the is celebrated worldwide as World Press Freedom Day.

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. Special commemorations of the 30th anniversary are planned to take place during World Press Freedom Day International Conference.

May 3 acts as a reminder to governments of the need to respect their commitment to press freedom. It is also a day of reflection among media professionals about issues of press freedom and professional ethics. 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.

31st World Press Freedom Day Conference

The 31stedition of World Press Freedom Day will highlight the significant role played by the press, journalism, access, and dissemination of information to ensure and secure a sustainable future that respects the rights of individuals and their diversity of voices, as well as gender equality.

2 - 4 May 2024

Gabriela Mistral Cultural Center, Santiago, Chile

 

4 May 2024

 

Safety of Journalists

female reporter with cameraman

Find out what the United Nations is doing on the safety of journalists.

As the United Nations agency with a specific mandate to promote “the free flow of ideas by word and image”, UNESCO works to foster free, independent and pluralistic media in print, broadcast and online. Media development in this mode enhances freedom of expression, and it contributes to peace, sustainability, poverty eradication and human rights

Created in 1997, the honours a person, organization or institution that has made an outstanding contribution to the defence and/or promotion of press freedom anywhere in the world, especially when achieved in the face of danger. The Prize is named , a Colombian journalist who was assassinated in front of the offices of his newspaper El Espectador in Bogotá, Colombia in1986. 

 

an abstract illustration of people engaged in an event

International days and weeks are occasions to educate the public on issues of concern, to mobilize political will and resources to address global problems, and to celebrate and reinforce achievements of humanity. The existence of international days predates the establishment of the United Nations, but the UN has embraced them as a powerful advocacy tool. We also mark other UN observances.