World Press Freedom Day (WPFD) will be observed on 3 May 2021. A debate will be held on WPFD in Westminster Hall on Thursday 29 April 2021 at 1.30pm, opened by Damian Collins MP.

WPFD is an initiative from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) to support and reflect on the work of media organisations and professionals. It seeks to hold governments to account over their commitment to press freedom and allow the press to reflect on professional ethics. 2021 is the 30th anniversary of the Windhoek Declaration on media pluralism and independence.

The theme of this year’s WPFD is “Information as a Public Good.” The goal is to underline the role of the information in an online media environment by focussing on the following:

  • “Steps to ensure the economic viability of news media;
  • Mechanisms for ensuring transparency of Internet companies; 
  • Enhanced Media and Information Literacy (MIL) capacities that enable people to recognize and value, as well as defend and demand, journalism as a vital part of information as a public good.”

The United Kingdom ranks 33rd on the 2021 World Press Freedom Index from Reporters Without Borders and is marked as yellow. This is a second-place categorisation, indicating that press freedom in the UK is generally ‘satisfactory’ but not ‘good’.

Parliamentary Questions on Press Freedom

House of Commons UIN 128312 [on the World Press Freedom Index], answered 18 December 2020

House of Lords UIN HL7103 [on press freedom during Covid-19], answered 29 July 2020

Further Reading

RSF website, Detailed methodology  – How the Press Freedom Index is calculated

2021 World Press Freedom to promote Information as a Public Good in a severely challenged media landscape (unesco.org) – Detailing the WPFD 2021 Conference held in Windhoek for its 30th anniversary.

World Press Freedom Day 2020: statement by Media Freedom Coalition – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) – Statement from the Media Freedom Coalition on WPFD 2020.

FCO/FCDO, Media Freedom Coalition: an overview, 7 April 2021

Freedom of the Press Foundation

Reporters Without Borders


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