World Press Freedom Day 2012 – Asia and the Pacific

World Press Freedom

Daycame about twenty years ago in response to a vision of a group of

journalists that gathered together at Windhoek, in Namibia. The Windhoek

Declaration was a call to arms to protect the fundamental principles of the

freedom of expression that is enshrined in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. On May 3 each year, World Press Freedom Day (WPFD) 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. 


The theme for WPFD

2012 is ‘New Voices: Media Freedom

Helping to Transform Societies’.

Throughout the

region, IFJ affiliates are undertaking a number of activities during the week

of May 3.


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 4. 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.


Cambodia: On May 3,

the Cambodian Association for the

Protection of Journalists (CAPJ) will hold an internal members’ meeting

and discuss the topic: "Issues and Challenges of Media in Cambodia."

CAPJ will also join with other media organizations in Cambodia and UNESCO to celebrate

WPFD under the theme of Media Codes of Ethics.


East Timor:The Timor Lorosa’e Journalists' Association (TLJA)

plans to reflect on

press freedom conditions in East Timor, and will write an open letter to the

government of Timor Leste on the freedom of the press in Timor. This will be

supported internationally by the IFJ Asia Pacific.



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 and the UN Information Centre.


Indonesia: The Aliansi Jurnalis Independen (AJI) has stated

that free media must provide benefits to the community by showing the path to democracy

and social welfare. They are supporting the 2012 theme, "New Voices: Media

Freedom Helping to Transform Societies", in recognition of this. AJI’s

national campaign for WPFD 2012 demands that the Indonesian government end

impunity and work seriously on investigating journalist murder cases.

Japan: SHIMBUN ROREN – the Japan

Federation of Newspaper Workers' Unions will hold an event under the auspices

of their affiliate member, the ASAHI Newspaper workers' Union. This year marks

the 25 Year Anniversary of the May 3, 1987 incident, where a man wearing a ski mask with a shotgun, broke into

the Asahi Shimbun Hanshin bureau at night, and shot and killed Mr. Kojiri Tomohiro (then 29 years old), a newspaper reporter

and inflicted serious injury on a senior reporter.Since 1988, the Asahi Newspaper

workers' Union has held a meeting with citizens, in order to keep and defend

freedom of speech and not to allow violence to threaten it. SHIMBUN ROREN’s

President attends every meeting and delivers a message of support to the

members and participants.The criminal has still not yet been arrested, but prescription (in the Diet) was materialized in 2002.


Malaysia: The National Union of Journalists will commemorate WPFD as an occasion for many

stakeholders to celebrate the significance of media freedom, to examine how to

deepen it, and to deliberate on how to best resolve the new challenges of

elaborating this right in both complex and changing circumstances. Their World

Press Freedom Day activities are aimed at achieving the following objectives:


1.    To

sensitise media practitioners and general public on the value of press freedom

and the role the press plays in a democratic society.

2.    To

provide a platform to the participants to exchange critical views on press

freedom, this will result in a better understanding of the significance of

freedom of expression. 

3.    To

use media freedom to improve the democratic development of a county.

4.    To

capture and sustain the gains on freedom of expression created by social media

and on the internet more broadly.


Their key activity for WPFD 2012 is a Forum that

will be held at the Universiti Selangor, with a Keynote Address, followed by a

Panel Discussion. The members of the panel will comprise Malaysian senior

journalists, as well as prominent human rights / press freedom advocators. The

event has been organised by the Asian Institute for Development Communication

(AIDCOM) every year since 1998. As in previous years, the event will be jointly

organised with the cooperation of the NUJ and the Universiti Selangor, as well

as media professionals and members of the academia. The event will bring

together a broad range of media professionals, journalists, communicators, academics,

human right activists, students, and the public on a theme that addresses the

status of media freedom helping to transform societies faced by media in our

rapidly changing world. 


Maldives: The Maldives Journalists Association will be

launching a right to information campaign on May 3. They have printed T shirts proclaiming

"right to information: your right." A

small press conference will also be held on the day to highlight the importance

of the right to information.


Mongolia: TheConfederation of Mongolian Journalists (CMJ) will commemorate WPFD 2012 with the

following activities surrounding the May 3 event:


1. CMJ will hold a report

discussion entitled “Press Freedom Makes a Contribution

to Social    Change” on  May 1, 2012

in cooperation with the Globe International NGO and the Press Institute of Mongolia.

2. CMJ will raise awareness around the history of 19 journalists who were punished

in mass due to an article published in a newspaper of Mongolia during the

socialist dictatorship (1978-1979) and a measure will be undertaken to organize

to apologize to the victims.

3. Recommendations and appeal

will be issued for the media and journalists on how to work in emergency conditions.

4. CMJ will demand that the Parliament immediately approves a new Law on Press Freedom which has

discussed repeatedly been postponed from the Parliamantary session.


Nepal: The Federation of Nepalese Journalists (FNJ)

plans to undertake a number of activities in part association with UNESCO’s

Kathmandu Office to mark World Press Freedom Day 2012:

1.    Issue a “Message from

the FNJ President”.

2.    Organize a Rallyfor Press Freedom that

will start from New Baneshwore (the venue of the Constituent Assembly) at 7:30 am and will end at Babarmahal on May 3, 2012.

3.    Display the “List of

Nepali Journalists killed since the conflict period to date (available with

FNJ)” on a Flex Banner and have it displayed at prominent spots at the Rally

for Press Freedom end-venue and Interaction Program.

4.    Organize an Interaction

Program on “Peace Process, Constitution Making and Freedom of Press and Freedom

of Expression” of around 100 participants (including senior political leaders and journalists).

5.    Observe a one-minute

silence in memory of journalists killed before the start of the Interaction



The following

publications will also be launched: the FNJ Annual Report 2012 (Nepali and English versions). The Report of International

Media Mission, 23-27 February 2012 (in English). And the Analysis of Constitutional Proposals

on Freedom of Expression, Media Freedom and the Right to Information (in Nepali

and English) by Toby Mendel, CLD.


A number of award

recipients will also be named: Freedom Fighters for Press Freedom(3awards); one Krishna Prasad Bhattarai Award; and one Uma Singh Award.

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. The debate topic is this year is: Politicians should be hacked off with

hacking journalists. Teams will include MPs Annette King, Lianne Dalziel,

Winston Peters and Simon Bridges, Entertainer Pinky Agnew and TV political

reporter Patrick Gower are also taking part. TV3's political editor Duncan

Garner is chair.

Pakistan: The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists has

two main events scheduled for May 3. In collaboration with the IFJ, the PFUJ

sent missions to Pakistan’s four provinces to gather information about the

state of journalism. The reports will be formally launched at a press

conference on WPFD. PFUJ President Pervaiz Shaukat, Secretary-General Amin Yousuf,

the PFUJ Punjab mission leader Raja Riaz, Balochistan Mission leader Tahir

Rathore and KP/FATA mission leader Yousuf Ali will address the press

conference. Later in the day, a protest demonstration will be held by

journalists outside the parliament house against those newspapers which have

failed to pay employee salaries.

Philippines: The National Union of Journalists of

the Philippines (NUJP) is cooperating with Philippine Press Institute to

co-host events under the theme: “Forum to Decriminalize Libel”. The events will

take place at Universities around the Philippines, including in Manila, Davao,

Cebu and General Santos.

Sri Lanka:An event has been organized to celebrate the World

Press Freedom Day 2012 by Sri Lanka Press Institute. The main objective of this

event is to hold a panel discussion about Press Freedom in Sri Lanka. A number

of media organisations, and IFJ affiliate the Federation of Media

 Employees' Trade Unions (FMETU) FMETU have been

invited to this event.

Pacific Region:The first Press Freedom in the Pacific Report will be launched to

coincide with World Press Freedom Day 2012 event and union-building training in

Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. The launch will be attended by the country’s

Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill.


South Asia:The

launch of the ninth Press Freedom Monitoring Report for South Asia (2011-2012)

Mr. Sukumar Muralidharan, South Asia Program Manager of the International

Federation of Journalists Asia Pacific, will take place at a conference in

Haryana, India, on May 3. The conference has been organised by the Institute of Rural Research and Development

(IRRAD), with support from

Sesame Workshop India Trust and UNESCO.



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


The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 131



Find the IFJ on Twitter: @ifjasiapacific


Find the IFJ on Facebook:



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



IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 131 countries



the IFJ on Twitter: @ifjasiapacific


Find the IFJ on Facebook: