FAQs regarding World Press Freedom Conference 2020

Read these FAQs for answers regarding the World Press Freedom Conference, from 9-10 December 2020.

What is World Press Freedom Day?

World Press Freedom Day (WPFD) is an annual celebration of press freedom, observed on 3 May and whose main celebration is organized by UNESCO. The objectives are to:

  • promote the fundamental principles of press freedom
  • emphasise the importance of an independent media
  • address challenges to media freedom worldwide
  • defend the media from attacks on their independence
  • pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the line of duty

World Press Freedom Day was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in 1993, following the recommendation of UNESCO’s General Conference in 1991.

What is the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists?

UNESCO holds the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists on 2 November every year. The date was chosen in commemoration of the assassination of two French journalists in Mali on 2 November 2013. The Day draws attention to the low global conviction rate for killings of journalists and media workers, estimated at only one in every ten cases. Combatting impunity is an important step in addressing these high levels of journalists killed, as it perpetuates the cycle of violence against them and sends a chilling message across society. Journalists play a crucial role in informing society about important social issues, and it is therefore very important that attacks against them don’t remain unpunished. It is therefore crucial that attacks against them are punished.

What is the World Press Freedom Conference?

The annual World Press Freedom Conference (WPFC) is the international celebration of World Press Freedom Day. This Conference is held annually on 3 May to reflect on the most pressing issues concerning press freedom.

This year, the World Press Freedom Conference is a joint celebration of World Press Freedom Day and the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists (2 November). WPFC 2020 will be held on 9-10 December in a new, innovative format, merging digital and in-person elements.

Who organises WPFC?

In 2020, the annual World Press Freedom Conference (WPFC) will be co-hosted by UNESCO and the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

For whom is WPFC intended?

Participation in the World Press Freedom Conference (WPFC) is open to everyone, including journalists and members of the news media, policymakers, NGOs, members of the judiciary, students, artists, companies, academics and many others from around the world who are active or interested in the field of journalism.

Where will WPFC 2020 be held?

Sessions will be broadcast from the World Forum in The Hague and multiple other locations around the world. Registered participants can follow the conference via an online platform, designed to function as a virtual conference room. Talk shows, panel discussions and debates will be livestreamed across different time zones and participants will be able to actively take part in them. Participants will also have the opportunity to meet and talk to each other online.

And there will be plenty more to experience, including documentaries and virtual exhibitions. In addition, there will be an option to follow WPFC 2020 via open channels on YouTube, Twitter and Instagram. More information about the programme, registration and speakers will follow in September/October. Check the website of World Press 
Freedom Day
 and social media regularly for the latest news.

What are WPFC’s themes and topics?

The theme of WPFC 2020 is ‘Journalism without Fear or Favour’, an expression coined by Adolph S. Ochs, founder of the modern New York Times. First and foremost, the conference seeks to underline the necessity to stand for free, safe and independent media, and protect to journalism against persistent and new forms of control. The independence and freedom of the media is still being threatened in many countries, making  this issue more relevant than ever.

The aim of WPFC is to ensure that journalists can work freely, safely and independently, now and in the future. The main topics are:

  1. Editorial independence and media in the service of power
  2. Diversity and inclusion in the media
  3. Independent journalism and media in the digital age.
  4. Ending impunity for crimes against journalists and improving the safety of journalists.

We will also address current issues at WPFC, such as the role of the press and the problems encountered by journalists in the COVID-19 crisis.

What does the programme look like?

The programme is currently being put together and will be announced in September/October. Check the website of World Press 
Freedom Day
 and social media regularly for the latest information about the programme, the speakers and registration for WPFC 2020.

Do I have to pay to participate?

No, participating in WPFC 2020 is free of charge.

Do I have to register to participate?

Yes. To gain full access to the online conference platform, with all the possibilities WPFC 2020 has to offer (such as being able to actively participate in sessions and meeting other participants), you need to register in advance. Further information on registration will follow soon.

It is also possible to follow the conference (and view the sessions at a later stage) without registering, via YouTube, Twitter and Instagram. Registration for WPFC 2020 will open around 1 October: check the website of World Press 
Freedom Day
 and social media regularly for updates.

I had already registered. What will happen next?

More information about your registration will follow soon.

Can I physically attend WPFC as a visitor? 

No. Due to the COVID-19 crisis the conference can only be attended online via the digital conference platform and via YouTube, Twitter and Instagram. 

How does the online conference platform work? 

The online conference platform will have the look and feel of a ‘real’ conference venue as much as possible. It will include a central lobby, information desk, conference rooms, exhibition spaces, cinema, meeting points and breakout rooms that you can virtually walk through and where you can network with other conference visitors. More information will follow soon.

In the course of the summer, we will give a preview of the virtual conference room. Check the website and social media regularly for the latest news:

Can I also organise a programme session myself?

The WPFC 2020 programme is put together in collaboration with a large number of partners. WPFC’s organisers are in contact with these partners. Individual participants cannot independently organise a programme component.

How can I get in touch with the WPFC team?

If you have any questions, you can contact the WPFC organisers at WPFC2020@minbuza.nl.

Where can I find more information about WPFC?

More information about WPFC can be found on the website of World Press 
Freedom Day
 and social media: