Under the theme “Information as a Public Good”, the Conference will call on the urgency to address the threat of extinction faced by local news media around the world, a crisis worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic. It will put forward ideas to tackle the challenges of our online media environment, push for more transparency, strengthen the safety of journalists and improve their working conditions, and support independent media to build back better.
The event also marks the 30th anniversary of the Windhoek Declaration, developed at a UN and UNESCO organized seminar in Windhoek by African journalists pressing for a free, independent, and pluralistic African press. The Declaration inspired the establishment of 3 May as World Press Freedom Day and it is considered a landmark which paved the way to political and economic deregulation in the media around the world thus increasing press freedom, and the development of media independence, pluralism and diversity.
The Conference will spread in five days (like the 1991 Seminar) and will comprise over 35 sessions and plenaries including three thematic ones discussing current issues on media viability, the transparency of online platforms, and strengthening media and information literacy capacities. Keynotes and interviews with world-renowned journalists, media and tech leaders, experts and activists will be held. Registrants will be able to network, interact with speakers, access to dedicated podcasts, watch artistic showcases, and film screenings on the conference’s online platform.
This year, the World Press Freedom Conference is connecting with the regional celebrations, hosting six Regional Forums to focus on local aspects of press freedom and explore the current trends and challenges. The Forums build upon the historic series of regional seminars triggered by the 1991seminar in Windhoek, which inspired regional declarations to promote a free, independent, and pluralistic press, after similar seminars held in Alma-Ata (1992), Santiago (1994), Sana’a (1996), and Sofia (1997).
Academic Conference and Youth Newsroom
UNESCO and the University of Namibia (UNAM) are hosting the sixth edition of the Academic Conference on the Safety of Journalists (read more here). The Youth Newsroom 2021 edition is being held in partnership with the Namibia University of Science and Technology. Participants will cover the conference mostly virtually and will be able to attend guest speakers’ lectures.
30th Anniversary of the Windhoek Declaration
Special commemorations of the 30th anniversary will take place during the Conference days.
We are inviting members of the World Press Freedom Day community around the world to share a short 30-second video clip answering three questions related to this year WPFD celebration. Send your video now! Read more here.