World Press Freedom Day 2011
UNESCO commemorated World Press Freedom Day 2011 in Washington, D.C. on May 1-3, 2011. The theme of this year's global conference was 21st Century Media: New Frontiers, New Barriers.
The event concluded on May 3rd with the awarding of the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize.
World Press Freedom Day 2011 marks the 20th anniversary of the original declaration made in Windhoek, Namibia. African journalists gathered, there in 1991, proclaimed that an independent, pluralistic press is fundamental to democratic and economic development, and called upon the United Nations to designate a day dedicated to preserving this freedom. In observation, the 2011 conference affirms fundamental principles of media freedom that now extend into the digital age. It highlights innovative media platforms that are democratizing how people can gain and share information - rights that now more than ever must be protected as new techniques for censorship, propaganda, and surveillance emerge.
Planning for the event was a joint effort among UNESCO, the convener of the annual observance; the U.S. Department of State, as the official host; the Center for International Media Assistance at the National Endowment for Democracy; IREX; and the United Nations Foundation, as the non-governmental organisation sponsors.
Sponsors for the event include Omidyar Network, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the National Press Club, Newseum, UNESCO, Google, The Washington Post Company, the Nicholas B. Ottaway Foundation, Ethics & Excellence Journalism Foundation, Pia-Maria and Stephen Norris, and the Associated Press, among others.