United Nations and press freedom and media organisations will mark 30 years of World Press Freedom Day on 3 May, 2023, celebrating the importance of freedom of the press and freedom of expression, and urging governments to uphold and protect Article 19 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the right to freedom of expression.
This year’s theme is ‘Shaping a Future of Rights: Freedom of expression as a driver for all other human rights’. UNESCO states that this signifies ‘the enabling element of freedom of expression to enjoy and protect all other human rights’.
An independent press and a media literate public are essential to tackling the biggest information challenges of our time – disinformation, hate speech, excessive content moderation, and poor transparency. Fostering a healthy climate for the press and media literacy drives freedom of expression and other human rights, and supports their mutual reinforcement. This means the media enjoy key rights, but also has responsibilities to support and promote these rights.
ARTICLE 19 is hosting, leading on and contributing to a wide range of events in the run-up to World Press Freedom Day on 3 May, on the day itself, and in related events throughout early May. Highlights include:
- the launch of ARTICLE 19’s global report, How are courts responding to SLAPPS?, an analysis of on strategic lawsuits on public participation;
- Special Rapporteurs launch the 2023 Joint Declaration on media freedom and democracy during official UNESCO conference at the UN headquarters in New York City, hosted by ARTICLE 19;
- Women journalists: How their resilience can impact the design of public policies worldwide. Sponsored by ARTICLE 19
See the full list below. This will be updated as further information becomes available.
Tuesday, 2 May
-Special Rapporteurs launch the 2023 Joint Declaration on media freedom and democracy during the official UNESCO conference.
Venue: UN headquarters in New York City, 42 West 44th Street, New York
Wednesday, 3 May
-In-depth discussion on the Special Rapporteurs’ launch of the 2023 Joint Declaration
Venue: Vance Center, New York Bar Association
Teresa Ribeiro, OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media
Pedro Vaca Villarreal, OAS Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression
Irene Khan, UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression
Geereeha Topsy-Sonoo, Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information in Africa
-Women journalists: How their resilience can impact the design of public policies worldwide
Venue: Ford Foundation Center for Social Justice; online
Sponsored by ARTICLE 19.
Participants: Journalists Carmen Aristegui (Mexico) and Jineth Bedoya (Colombia)
* In person, streaming. Register
10:00- 11:15 AM EST
-Violence against the press: When illegal surveillance is more beneficial for the State than to protect human rights
Venue: New York City Bahá’í Center
Sponsored by ARTICLE 19.
Participants: Journalists Carmen Aristegui (Mexico), Oscar Martinez (El Salvador), Maria Alejandra Villamizar (Colombia); Pedro Vaca, Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights; ARTICLE 19’s Leopoldo Maldonado; Jonathan Bock from Foundation for Press Freedom – Colombia (FLIP).
-Media freedom in Serbia: A deepening crisis
Media Freedom Rapid Response’s webinar on SLAPPs in Serbia. Moderated by Roberta Taveri, ARTICLE 19’s Europe Programme Officer/Media Freedom Programme Officer.
Participants: Speakers will include representatives from key organisations working with journalists in Serbia and will probably follow up on the recommendations included in our Serbia SLAPPs report and on recent cases of SLAPPs against journalists in Serbia.
–Working group: Contributing to the Regional Dialogue on Content Moderation
Venue: Columbia University (closed event)
17.00 –18.30 EST
Thursday, 4 May
-Latin America: Violence, Repression, and the Resilience of the Press: Voces del Sur Shadow Report, 2022:
Organisers: Voces del Sur
Venue: Open Society Foundation, 224 W 57th St, New York, NY 10019, United States
Participants: Jonathan Bock, FLIP, Paula Saucedo, ARTICLE 19, Dagmar Thiel, Fundamedios, Cristina Zahar, Abraji, Chloe Zoeller, Pan American Development Foundation (Moderator)
Report Launch: How are courts responding to SLAPPs? Analysis of selected court decisions from across the globe
Sponsored by Columbia GFoE, ARTICLE 19, and UNESCO
Venue: MLK Conference Room 527, Riverside Church, Columbia University
Speakers: Barbora Bukovská, ARTICLE 19; Mehdi Benchelah, UNESCO; Ginna Anderson, American Bar Association Center for Human Rights and Justice Defenders Program
Find out more about the event
Friday, 5 May
–The Future of Media Freedom and Safety in Sub-Saharan Africa
Co-hosted by ARTICLE 19 Eastern Africa
Speakers: Wanjiru Nguhi, Program Manager, FumbuaKe; Nerimo Wako, CEO, Siasa Place; Muthuri Kathure, Senior Program Officer, Civic Space, ARTICLE 19
Moderator: Vanessa Gathecha, Reseach Lead, Baraza Media Lab
Location: Baraza Media Lab, Nairobi
Tuesday, 9 May
–History in the Making: Twitter space talk ahead of the Turkish elections
Hosted by Freedom House and ARTICLE 19 Europe
Online censorship and threats to journalists in the broader context of the upcoming crucial elections.
- Nate Schenkkan, Senior Director of Research for Freedom House
- Emma Sinclair-Webb, Europe and Central Asia Associate Director and Turkey Director for Human Rights Watch
- Kerem Altıparmak, Co-founder of Freedom of Expression Association in Turkey, IFOD
- Suay Boulougouris, Europe and Central Asia Programme Officer for ARTICLE 19
Location: Twiter space at @freedomhouse
Time: 10.00-11.00 ET (17:00-18.00 in Turkey)