World Press Freedom Day (May 3, 2023)
On this World Press Freedom Day, France reaffirms the need to defend and promote a free, independent, pluralistic press that provides free, reliable, quality information. France condemns the growing violence against journalists, massive disinformation campaigns conducted by the Russian authorities, and drastic restrictions on the freedom of the press in a large number of countries, including Afghanistan, Russia, Belarus and Mali.
France applauds the courage of journalists who sometimes risk their lives to do their job. In 2022, 57 journalists lost their lives. We call for the release of the 568 journalists who are being detained arbitrarily worldwide, according to the latest report by Reporters without Borders.
At the behest of Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Catherine Colonna, we have created an award to honor journalists’ courage. It will recognize the work carried out by committed reporters working in war zones, crisis areas, and areas dealing with destabilization tactics.
France reaffirms its staunch and unwavering commitment to the freedom of the press, freedom of speech and protection of journalists worldwide. France is taking measures to allow journalists who are under threat to continue their work. It is why we welcomed and offered protection to a large number of Afghan journalists who were at risk because of the work they do, and why we support initiatives to welcome, assist and train Ukrainian journalists and media professionals who are in danger because of the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine.
Together with its European and UN partners, France is committed to protecting journalists and media professionals. France is continuing its effort to mobilize the international community to create a global space for free, democratic and reliable information through the International Partnership for Information and Democracy, which was launched by Reporters without Borders in 2019 and now includes 50 participating countries. France is contributing to media pluralism and the economic sustainability of independent media outlets through its operator Canal France International (CFI) and its contribution to the International Fund for Public Interest Media (IFPIM), which announced that it would be headquartered in France at the Paris Peace Forum last November.
Championing the freedom of the press also means combating the spread of information manipulation and preserving the global information space. France supports a systemic response and a change in the rules for digital platforms. We are backing the UN Secretary-General’s effort to establish a global Code of Conduct for Information Integrity as well as Reporters without Borders’ Journalism Trust Initiative.