UN Secretary-General supports World Press Freedom Day

António Guterres, United Nations Secretary-General marked World Press Freedom Day 2018 by calling ‘on governments to strengthen press freedom, and to protect journalists’. He further noted that ‘Promoting a free press is standing up for our right to truth’. The 2018 theme is Keeping Power in Check: Media, Justice and The Rule of Law, highlighting the importance of an enabling legal environment for press freedom and giving special attention to the role of an independent judiciary in ensuring legal guarantees for press freedom and the prosecution of crimes against journalists. It also underlines the role of the media in sustainable development (particularly SDG 16 calling for peace, justice, and strong institutions), especially during elections. The theme fosters review of legislative gaps with regard to freedom of expression and information online, and the risks of regulating online speech.