The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed World Press Freedom Day in 1993 to commemorate the Declaration of Windhoek, a statement of free press principles crafted in 1991 by African journalists. Every year, the day serves as a reminder for governments to respect their commitment to press freedom, and as a time of reflection for journalists and other media professionals.

World Press Freedom Day is an opportunity to:

  • celebrate the fundamental principles of press freedom;
  • assess the state of press freedom throughout the world;
  • defend the media from attacks on their independence;
  • and pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the line of duty.

According to the Paris-based media advocacy organization Reporters Without Borders (also known as Reporters sans frontières or RSF), the next decade is critical for the future of journalism, and the COVID-19 pandemic is deepening existing crises that already threaten free and independent reporting. This month, RSF released its annual World Press Freedom Index, which ranks 180 countries and regions on the level of freedom they afford journalists.

Understanding press freedom is essential to news literacy. To mark World Press Freedom Day 2020, NLP is providing access to select Checkology® virtual classroom lessons with no need to register. Explore Press Freedoms Around the World (you can also find a link further down this page), test your knowledge of the First Amendment with our quiz (also further down this page) and learn more about the role of the free press and its impact on all our lives in these related Checkology lessons: