As they investigate sensitive issues, unveil disturbing truths and question policies, journalists find themselves in the firing line of those directly or indirectly exposed by their reports.
Facing harassment, threats of violence and physical retaliation, journalists across the world continue to dig out troubling facts, challenge the status quo and expose those who commit crimes. Day after day, journalists investigate and file reports on issues they know they could be sued or killed for. Many pay the price. On World Press Freedom Day, the World Association of Newspapers will present the story of many journalists whose work upsets and can sometimes undo the powerful. What do they report on, how and at what price?
UNESCO marks World Press Freedom Day by conferring the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize on a deserving individual, organization or institution that has made an outstanding contribution to the defence and/or promotion of press freedom anywhere in the world, especially when this has been achieved in the face of danger. Created in 1997, the prize is awarded on the recommendation of an independent jury of 14 news professionals. Names are submitted by regional and international non-governmental organizations working for press freedom, and by UNESCO member states.
The Prize is named in honour of Guillermo Cano Isaza, a Colombian journalist who was assassinated in front of the offices of his newspaper, El Espectador, in Bogotá, on 17 December 1986. Cano's writings had offended Colombia's powerful drug barons.
UNESCO also marks World Press Freedom Day each year by bringing together media professionals, press freedom organisations and UN agencies to assess the state of press freedom worldwide and discuss solutions for addressing challenges. Each conference is centred around a theme related to press freedom, including good governance, media coverage of terrorism, impunity and the role of media in post-conflict countries.
- World Freedom Press Day
- Freedom of Expression
- International Programme for the Development of Communication
- Information for All Programme
- The UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize, instituted in 1997, is intended to honour each year 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 if some risk was involved.