Speakers at the conference will include bloggers and internet journalists from North Africa and the Middle East, as well as other media and freedom of expression professionals from all over the world.
On 3 May, Ms Bokova will award the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano Press Freedom Prize. Imprisoned Iranian journalist Ahmad Zeidabadi is the winner of this year’s prize. The award-ceremony will take place at the National Press Club in Washington DC (3.30 to 5 p.m.).
This year’s World Press Freedom Day also marks the 20th anniversary of the Windhoek Declaration for the promotion of free and pluralistic media. The Declaration was adopted after a conference held in Windhoek (Namibia) on the development of a free African press. It emphasized the importance of an independent press for the development and preservation of democracy and economic development. Two years later, the UN General Assembly established World Press Freedom Day.
The anniversary will be commemorated at a special event at United Nations Headquarters in New York on 4 May. On the same day in Windhoek, a regional conference will be held to review the future of the media in Africa. A publication analyzing media freedom in Africa over the past two decades will be launched on this occasion.
Also noteworthy are the celebrations of World Press Freedom Day in Tunisia and Egypt, where journalists are now able to work more freely and exercise the right to freedom of expression.