“Information is a public good and, as such, it needs public support.” Joseph E. Stiglitz, in his message on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of UNESCO’s International Program for the Development of Communication, on 24 November 2020.
Every May 3, World Press Freedom Day is commemorated, from its proclamation by the United Nations General Assembly in 1993 and in compliance with a recommendation approved at the 26th session of the UNESCO General Conference in 1991. Its origin was the UNESCO conference held in Windhoek, Namibia, from April 29 to May 3, 1991, concluded with the adoption of the historic Windhoek Declaration for the Development of a Free, Independent and Pluralist Press. The event was framed by the constant pressure and violence suffered by press workers on the African continent. Since then, UNESCO has organized international conferences to discuss and raise awareness of the most pressing issues of press freedom. This year’s is organized in conjunction with the Government of Namibia, and takes place from April 29 to date in Windhoek.
The theme of World Press Freedom Day in 2021 is “Information as a common good”, emphasizing three imperatives, as highlighted by UNESCO: “measures to guarantee the economic viability of the media; mechanisms to guarantee the transparency of Internet companies, and improvement of media and information literacy capacities that allow people to recognize and value, as well as defend and demand, journalism as a fundamental part of information as a common good”.