Press Freedom often goes ignored in the United States, but it comes at a high price: 20 journalists have been killed this year, and approximately 40 remain missing.
Each year, May 3 is set aside to remember journalists who risk their lives every day in the line of duty.
Besides paying tribute, World Press Freedom Day is also dedicated to celebrating the fundamental principles of press freedom and to assess the state of press freedom throughout the world
Proposed by the U.N., World Press Freedom Day is celebrated around the globe. U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon once said “only when journalists are at liberty to monitor, investigate and criticize policies and actions can good governance exist.”
Since its inception, the Global Center for Journalism and Democracy has hosted events on campus and in the community. This year, GCJD is celebrating World Press Freedom Day on April 29 and 30 to ensure student participation.
GCJD has been officially recognized as a World Press Freedom Day participant by the U.N. for three years in a row, adding Sam Houston State University to a growing list of institutions dedicated to a free press and free expression.
Each year World Press Freedom Day has a theme and this year’s is “Let Journalism Thrive! Towards Better Reporting, Gender Equality, Safety in the Digital Age.”
But GCJD is using the day to bring attention to missing Texas journalist Austin Tice, who was kidnapped in 2012 while reporting in Syria. GCJD is joining organizations including Reporters Without Borders to bring attention to Tice’s plight and to keep the pressure on the administration to do all it can to bring him home safely.