World Press Freedom Day 2013

Media Release:                                                                                        

May 3, 2013

World Press Freedom Day

is an opportunity to commemorate the fundamental principles of press freedom,

to celebrate the press and to honour journalists who have demonstrated courage

in standing up for media ethics and free expression around the world. 


This year the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is marking

World Press Freedom Day by focusing on the issue of 'Journalist Safety and

Journalists Imprisoned Around the World'.

Throughout the region,

IFJ affiliates are undertaking a number of activities during the week of May 3.


South Asia, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) with UNESCO support

launches a report on South Asia, the eleventh in an annual series that reviews

all developments that have a bearing on media freedom and quality journalism in

the region.



Asia:  IFJ’s South Asia Press

Freedom Report for 2013, titled “Building Resistance, Organising for Change”,

seeks to bring into sharp focus the diverse experiences of media practitioners

in the South Asian region. Over the year under review, these have ranged from

the continuing threat of legal action and the growing menace of physical

violence, to the challenges posed by new forms of inter-personal communication

and engagement with the media and the defence of the traditional values of the



Australia: The Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance

and its professional development arm, the Walkley Foundation will host the 2012

Press Freedom Media Dinner in Sydney on Friday, May 3. The dinner is the media

industry’s major fundraising event and recognises that free speech and a free

and unfettered press that serves the public good, are the most important

guarantors of democracy. Each year, media and business unite to recognise the

importance of press freedom and support the many journalists and media workers

under pressure in the Asia-Pacific region. In the last year more than 100

media workers worldwide have been killed while doing their jobs - their deaths

either accidental or targeted. In the Asia-Pacific region, 32 colleagues have

paid the ultimate price.2011Gold Walkley Award winner Sarah

Ferguson will deliver the keynote speech.


In the lead up to the

event, the MEAA and Walkley Foundation have been running a campaign to support and promote press freedom in

the Asia Pacific region: 30 Days of Press Freedom.  Key public figures, journalists, actors, musicians and media

commentators have outlined their thoughts on press freedom in words, pictures

and sound for the online campaign.


Sri Lanka:The Free Media Movement and the Sri Lanka Press

Institute are hosting a a lecture by Mr.

Rohan Edrisinha Constitutional Adviser, UNDP in Nepal on ‘Freedom of Speech and Expression and the

Rule of Law.


Afghanistan:  The

Afghanistan Independent Journalist Association will be participating in an

event in Kabul to celebrate and inaugurate the recently formed Afghan

Journalist Federation – the AIJA is one of the 9 organisations who make up the

new federation.


Maldives:  The

Maldives journalists association is launching a T- Shirt campaign this WPFD.

The campaign advocates for the introduction of a working journalists act with the slogan "working

journalists act: protection".  


New Zealand   New Zealand: On May 3,

the NZ Engineering, Printing, and Manufacturing Union (NZEPMU) will hold what

has now become the annual N.Z. Press Freedom Debate (a fun/satirical debate) to

raise money for the Media Safety and Solidarity Fund at the Backbencher pub in



Vanuatu The Media Asosiesen blong Vanuatu, will be holding an

event at 9am on the sea front stage in Port Vila - “Safe to Speak”.  The program includes speeches from

media organisations, civil society organisations, performances from Youth

Against Corruption and Wan Smol Bag.  An web brochure will be launched focussing on media freedom.  The MAV will be announcing their status

as IFJ full affiliates at the event. 


China: The IFJ submitted a

letter to the Chinese Ambassador in Brussels expressing concern at the number

of journalists imprisoned in China awaiting trial on charges of violating the Chinese

penal code or anti-terror laws.


India: IFJ’s Indian affiliates, the National Union of

Journalists (India), the Indian Journalists' Union and the All India Newspaper

Employees Federation will participate in the WPFD event being organised in

Delhi by UNESCO titled "Upholding Freedom of Expression through Mainstream and

Alternative Media". The event will include the formal release of the

SAPFR, panel discussions on "Media Responsibility in the Public

Interest" and "Community Media". The keynote speaker would be

Bharat Bhushan, former editor of the Mail Today and a frequent participant in

IFJ events. Jawhar Sircar, CEO of the public broadcasting entity, Prasar

Bharati, would be chief guest.


Indonesia: AJI

is organizing a peaceful protest involving all 36 chapters of the union. The

protest is to demand the prosecution of those who have perpetrated violence against journalists in Indonesia. In Jakarta, AJI will stage a peaceful protest in front of Indonesian Police Headquarters demanding the completion of cases in the

murder of 8 journalists. They are highlighting one case in particular, the case

of Fuad Muhammad Syafruddin a.k.a Udin, Yogyakarta journalist who was killed in

August 1996.


Philippines: The National Union of

Journalists and other media organizations are holding a kite flying

event.  Simulkites: Soar High for Press Freedom.  Representatives from media organizations and

institutions will fly a kite. Together they will spell out the words

"Press Freedom" at 4pm today. Finally the NUJP will hold an annual

Press Jam at 7:30 pm in Manila


Nepal:  NUJ-Nepal will be attending various

press freedom events that are being held around Nepal to represent their



Pacific Region: ThePacific Freedom Forum in partnership with the Media Association of the

Solomon Islands will for the first time, convene a UNESCO Pacific WPFD event in

the Solomon Islands. The event will focus on self-regulation for Pacific

newsrooms and a regional media ombudsman.

For further

information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +61 2 9333 0950

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in

131 countries

Find the IFJ on Twitter: @ifjasiapacific

Find the IFJ on Facebook: