Washington, DC (April 27, 2011)—The United Nations Foundation, on behalf of the World Press Freedom Day Organizing Committee, will host a discussion with United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Director-General Irina Bokova this Thursday, April 28 at 10:00 am EST, to explore the role of new media in recent political events from Egypt to Tunisia.

Ms. Bokova will also give an exclusive preview of historical, upcoming events in Washington, DC, and around the world to commemorate World Press Freedom Day on May 3, 2011. She will discuss UNESCO’s 2011 laureate for the Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize Iranian journalist Ahmad Zeidabadi, who is currently serving a six-year jail sentence following Iran’s presidential election in 2009.

About World Press Freedom Day

World Press Freedom Day is celebrated every year on May 3 worldwide. The United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) organizes World Press Freedom Day commemorations to celebrate the fundamental principles of press freedom; to evaluate press freedom, to defend the media from attacks on their independence and to pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the line of duty. In December 1993, the UN General Assembly proclaimed May 3 as World Press Freedom Day. Since then, it has been celebrated each year on May 3, the anniversary of the Declaration of Windhoek, a statement of free press principles as put together by newspaper journalists in Africa during a UNESCO seminar on “Promoting an Independent and Pluralistic African Press” in Windhoek, Namibia in 1991. The declaration calls for free, independent, pluralistic media worldwide characterizing free press as essential to democracy and a fundamental human right.

MEDIA ADVISORY, World Press Freedom Day