Find out more about World Press Freedom Day here, including a press kit and information about the 2021 Global Conference.
Monday, May 03, 2021
Use World Press Freedom Day and #followlocaljournalists hashtag to remind readers where to get reliable information
World Press Freedom Day, an annual celebration of free, independent media worldwide. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization first observed it 30 years ago after the Windhoek Declaration, which stated that an impartial press was vital to the public good.
Some news organizations, including Gannett and McClatchy, are promoting use of the Twitter hashtag #FollowLocalJournalists to spotlight the work of local journalists they respect and rely on. Jon Allsop, editor of Columbia Journalism Review, writes, "Twitter, for one, is right to observe that local reporters merit a national spotlight. They need an awful lot more than new followers, though. #FundLocalJournalists."
You can use the hashtag and World Press Freedom Day as a news peg to remind readers of the value of local news media in your community. Research shows that when local newspapers shrink or close, fewer people vote or run for local office, and people are more likely to vote straight-party ticket.