Press Releases

    Note to Correspondents

    Note No. 5728
    30 April 2002


    NEW YORK, 29 April (UN Headquarters) -- The UN Department of Public Information will hold an observance of World Press Freedom Day at Headquarters on 2 May 2002 beginning at 10 a.m. in Conference Room 2. The theme of the observance, which is taking place in the context of the meetings of the Committee on Information, is "Covering the War on Global Terror".

    Louise Fréchette, Deputy Secretary-General, will open the programme. Milos Alcalay, Chairman, Committee on Information; Michel Barton, Director, Bureau of Public Information, UNESCO; and James H. Ottaway, Jr., Chairman, World Press Freedom Committee, will deliver brief remarks.

    A panel of distinguished print and broadcast journalists will discuss freedom of the press in the context of terrorism, addressing such issues as national and international security vs. freedom of the press, televised coverage of terrorism trials, and safety of journalists. Prior to the discussion there will be a screening of a videotaped interview with Mariane Pearl, widow of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, who was kidnapped and murdered earlier this year while on assignment in Pakistan. Panellists are Hafez Al-Mirazi, Washington Bureau Chief, Al-Jazeera; Fred Graham, Chief Anchor and Managing Editor, Courtroom Television Network (Court TV); Maria Hinojosa, Correspondent, Cable News Network (CNN); Judith Miller, Senior Writer, The New York Times; and Chidanand Rajghatta, Foreign Editor, The Times of India.

    Shashi Tharoor, Interim Head, Department of Public Information, will moderate the observance, which will be webcast live on the Internet.

    World Press Freedom Day (3 May) was established by General Assembly decision 48/432 of 20 December 1993, with reference to the Windhoek Declaration, adopted at the Seminar on Promoting an Independent and Pluralistic African Press, which was co-sponsored by DPI and UNESCO in Namibia in 1991. The Declaration states that "the establishment, maintenance and fostering of an independent, pluralistic and free press is essential to the development and maintenance of democracy in a nation, and for economic development" and defines an independent press as free "from governmental, political or economic control or from control of materials and infrastructure essential for the production and dissemination of newspapers, magazines, and periodicals", and a pluralistic press as having no monopolies of any kind and "the greatest possible number of newspapers, magazines and periodicals reflecting the widest possible range of opinion within the community".

    The World Press Freedom Day observance will be webcast live on the Internet. The webcast can be accessed via the special web page created for WPFD at

    For more information, please call (212) 963-6923 or (212) 963-7346; for media accreditation, (212) 963-6934; for United Nations television coverage, (212) 963-7650.

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