The World Press Freedom Conference 2020 will be held on December 9 and 10 in a digital format to jointly celebrate World Press Freedom Day and the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists.
The UNESCO conference was originally planned for April 2020 in the Netherlands, but the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic caused it to be postponed to October, and then eventually rescheduled again to become the digital event in December.
This year’s theme is ‘Journalism without Fear or Favour‘, and will encourage attendees to stand up for a free, safe and independent media and protect journalism from new and existing forms of unwanted control, pressure and influence.
UNESCO reports that more than 1,100 journalists were killed across the world from 2006 to 2019, and only one case out of ten was judicially solved.
“The level of impunity for crimes against journalists remains terribly high,’ it said. “This imposes a climate of fear in many parts of the world, which is ultimately detrimental to the free circulation of ideas and opinions by both the media and citizens at large.
“With the independence, safety and freedom of the media under attack in so many countries, and with the COVID-19 pandemic revealing once again just how important a free, safe and independent media is, it this is now more relevant than ever to stand up for these issues.”