World Association of News Publishers

Newspapers World-Wide to Commemorate World Press Freedom Day

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Newspapers World-Wide to Commemorate World Press Freedom Day


What do the Nobel Committee, Google, a Tunisian novelist and a Mexican journalist on the front lines of a drug war all have in common? They all have contributed to a package of editorials, essays and other materials being offered to newspapers world-wide to commemorate World Press Freedom Day on 3 May.

The wide ranging editorial and advertising materials, provided to newspapers and other media for publication on or around 3 May, are offered free of charge by the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA). Thousands of newspapers publish WAN-IFRA materials each year to remind readers of the central role a free press plays in democracy and in economic, cultural, social and political development.

The essays, infographics, photos, political cartoons, public service advertisements and young reader materials on the theme, "Silence kills democracy, but a free press talks", can now be found at

Newspapers world-wide are encouraged to view and download all or part of the materials, which are being offered in English, French, Spanish, German, Arabic and Russian but can be translated into other languages as well.

"Put simply, freedom of expression is the right that underpins all rights. Yet it is a sad reality that this basic human right is withheld from the majority of the world's population," said Christoph Riess, CEO of WAN-IFRA.

"World Press Freedom Day exists to acknowledge the importance of a free press and freedom of expression to society, whether emerging or well established," he said.  "It is an opportunity to recognise the importance of what many take for granted – the daily news, produced by teams of courageous men and women who labour every day in the interests of their societies and of their readers."

The package of materials includes op-ed pieces and essays by Peter Englund, Permanent Secretary of the Swedish Academy, which awards the Nobel Literature Prize; Google Vice President David Drummond; renowned Tunisian writer Taoufik Ben Brik; Rocio Gallegos, a reporter with El Diario de Juarez, a newspaper on the front lines in the battle with drug cartels; head of the World Bank Institute’s media development, Eric Chinje; Pakistan publisher and Golden Pen of Freedom laureate Najam Sethi; Zimbabwean publisher Trevor Ncube and an editorial from the World Editors’ Forum. 

Newspapers are also being encouraged to take up the “white space” challenge by printing white space on their front pages, to symbolise what would be missing without a free press. 

Other materials include cartoons from renowned French cartoonist Michel Cambon, advertisements on the theme of press freedom; photographs and infographics; and materials that can be used by young readers and teachers in classroom activities.

WAN-IFRA's World Press Freedom Day initiative benefits from contributions by Agence France-Presse, Getty Images, the World Editors Forum and the Russian Guild of Press Publishers (GIPP).

WAN-IFRA, based in Paris, France, and Darmstadt, Germany, with subsidiaries in Singapore, India, Spain, France and Sweden, is the global organisation of the world’s newspapers and news publishers. It represents more than 18,000 publications, 15,000 online sites and over 3,000 companies in more than 120 countries. Its core mission is to defend and promote press freedom, quality journalism and editorial integrity and the development of prosperous businesses.

Learn more about WAN-IFRA at or through the WAN-IFRA Magazine at

Inquiries to: Larry Kilman, Director of Communications and Public Affairs, WAN-IFRA, 7 rue Geoffroy St Hilaire, 75005 Paris France. Tel: +33 1 47 42 85 00. Fax: +33 1 47 42 49 48. Mobile: +33 6 10 28 97 36. E-mail:

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