On World Press Freedom Day, the inevitable calls for reform of Irish defamation law focus on the wrong issues
Today is World Press Freedom Day. The UN/UNESCO Declarations on Promoting Independent and Pluralistic Media were adopted on 3 May 1991, at a seminar on Promoting an Independent and Pluralistic African Press, held in Windhoek, Namibia, from 29 April to 3 May 1991. Article 1 provides (with added link):
Consistent with article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 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.
On foot of a recommendation (pdf; see proposal II.B, p2) from UNESCO, on 20 December 1993 the UN General Assembly adopted (pdf; see p29) 3 May, the anniversary of the Declaration of Windhoek, as World Press Freedom Day.
To mark the day, President Michael D. Higgins toay issued a statement highlighting the crucial role of the media, and of the fundamental principles of media freedom, pluralism and independence, in democratic societies:
This year, 100 years since the momentous event of the 1916 Easter Rising, we are reminded of the importance of a free and democratic society and of the central role that journalism must play in the quest for a full and accountable democratic republic.