World Press Freedom Day was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in December 1993, following the recommendation of UNESCO's General Conference. Since then, May 3, the anniversary of the Declaration of Windhoek, is celebrated worldwide as World Press Freedom Day. It is an opportunity to: celebrate the fundamental principles of press freedom; assess the state of press freedom throughout the world; defend the news media from attacks on their independence; and pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the line of duty.
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. The New York Times is marking the observance by taking down its paywall for three days. International Editor Michael Slackman asks us to imagine what would happen around the world if journalists, and the public, were not watching.