Jakarta: The covid-19 pandemic has underlined the need for reliable information, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Director-General Audrey Azoulay said in a message on World Press Freedom Day.
Marked annually on May 3, World Press Freedom Day is an occasion to evaluate press freedom globally, to defend the media from attacks on their independence, and to pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the exercise of their profession.
The date marks the adoption of the landmark Windhoek Declaration for the Development of a Free, Independent and Pluralistic Press at a UNESCO conference in the Namibian capital in 1991.
This year, the World Day focuses on the theme of "Information as a Public Good", affirming the importance of information as a public good, and exploring what can be done in the production, distribution and reception of content to strengthen journalism, as well as to improve transparency and empowerment.
The theme ties in with UNESCO’s work to ensure the long-term health of independent, pluralistic journalism, and the safety of media workers everywhere.
"As part of these efforts, we are working to create more transparency on online platforms in areas such as content moderation, while respecting human rights and international freedom of expression rules," she said.
She also highlighted the agency’s work to equip people globally with the media and information literacy skills they need to navigate this new information landscape, so they can avoid being duped or manipulated online.
"As we mark World Press Freedom Day, I call on everyone to renew their commitment to the fundamental right to freedom of expression, to defend media workers, and to join us in ensuring that information remains a public good," Azoulay added.