AMARC Europe on Press Freedom Day: Public access to the creation of and access to information is a key human right
Every year, 3rd of May is a date which celebrates the fundamental principles of press freedom, to evaluate press freedom around the world, to defend the media from attacks on their independence and to pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the exercise of their profession.
AMARC Europe wants to use this 3rd May 2021 as a reminder to governments of the need to implement their commitment to diversity and media pluralism, by recognising the work of community media organisations around the world.
Precisely, this year’s World Press Freedom Day theme “Information as a Public Good” serves “as a call to affirm the importance of cherishing information as a public good, and exploring what can be done in the production, distribution and reception of content to strengthen journalism, and to advance transparency and empowerment while leaving no one behind”, according to UNESCO.
Community Media has strived and fostered the public ownership of media and the public direct participation in content production, and we will continue in the future despise the difficulties created by the lack of meaningful support to community media initiatives in most countries.
However, Community Media still faces lack of legal recognition in most countries around the world and, even in those countries where they have a legal status, they are continuously threatened by changes in media and broadcasting law and regulations, and lack of meaningful funding and support that would guarantee the sustainability of the Third Media Sector.
World Press Freedom Day was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 1993 following a Recommendation adopted at the twenty-sixth session of UNESCO’s General Conference in 1991. This in turn was a response to a call by African journalists who in 1991 produced the landmark Windhoek Declaration on media pluralism and independence.