World Press Freedom Day (May 3, 2021)
On this World Press Freedom Day, France reaffirms its unwavering and resolute commitment to press freedom, freedom of expression and the protection of journalists around the world.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Windhoek Declaration signed on May 3, 1991 by African journalists in favor of a free, independent and pluralist press, a declaration that has since become universal. This date was deliberately chosen by the UN to celebrate World Press Freedom Day.
This Declaration remains more relevant than ever as press freedom and the safety of journalists are increasingly under threat around the world and as new challenges threaten the freedom to inform and to be informed, online and offline. .
In the digital age, a free, independent and pluralist press remains essential to the proper functioning of our societies, especially in times of crisis where the right to access reliable information is crucial in the face of the manipulation of information and the scourge of the infodemic. France has also been at the origin of national and European legislation on neighboring rights, in order to guarantee the media fair remuneration guaranteed by the major digital platforms.
Because it is fully in line with the notion of “information as a public good” essential to our democratic societies, France joined forces with Reporters Without Borders in September 2019 to launch the International Partnership on Information and Democracy , now endorsed by 42 countries.
In collaboration with RSF and a dozen civil society organizations around the world, the Information and Democracy Initiative has mobilized against the manipulation of information. Recommendations have been formulated on concrete actions to regulate online content in order to better fight the infodemic in a democratic way, and a second working group will soon present proposals on the crucial issues of the sustainability of journalism in the era digital. Indeed, when the economic model of the media is undermined by digital companies, it is the freedom of the press as a whole that is threatened. Together, we must reflect on a model for equitable revenue sharing between the media that produce information and the platforms that disseminate it.