Freedom of the press is more essential in 2020 than in any other recent time in our history. As we recognize May 3rd’s World Press Freedom Day and it’s crucial importance, our thoughts also go to those journalists whose lives were lost in the line of duty and/or due to COVID-19.

Freedom of the press more essential

A free and open press is essential to the balance of power around the world and the public’s right to be informed. Freedom of the press has expanded since its inception in 1993 by the UN General Assembly to include freedom of the internet. In these uncertain times of a global pandemic and shelter in place, we rely on all things digital, especially digital news. Today, we celebrate the importance of the free press and remind the world what it would be like without the media that has Socially Sparked® our lives

“We must consider the vital importance of information in this situation: informing the public means giving everyone the means of combatting the illness by adopting appropriate practices. This is why the Organization has teamed up with the rest of the United Nations family to fight the “infodemic” of rumours and disinformation which is exacerbating the pandemic and putting lives at risk.” — Extract from the Message by Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO, on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day

A free and independent press is essential at all times. It is particularly important during a health crisis such as the one we are currently experiencing. At a time when many seek information primarily online, the role of trained professional journalists is vital to help sort through the flow and provide necessary guidance.

It is so important to help the media and journalists report on the crisis effectively and safely, and to promote critical thinking to limit the spread of rumors and misinformation.

The importance of accurate and reliable journalism cannot be emphasized enough. Especially in times of crisis. More than 1,387 journalists have been killed ‘in the line of duty’ or merely for the fact of being a journalist dating back to 1993. Journalists around the globe are still being silenced or criminalized for reporting on sensitive topics as the COVID-19 pandemic.


May 3rd is also Difference Day which in 2020 will be it’s fifth edition. Freedom of Expression implies respect for the opinion of others. It recognizes the fact that there is a difference between us and between our opinions. To celebrate freedom of expression is to celebrate diversity. UNESCO and its partners purposely created Difference Day to coincide with World Press Freedom Day.

You can join Difference Day Sunday, May 3rd at 11:00 ET and follow the free livestreamed event on

Socially Sparked News was founded to convey the real news about the world’s people, places, events and causes that have inspired and impacted our lives from the past, present and into the future. We spotlight the intersection of culture and social change via the crossroads of pop culture, entertainment, music and technology. Today and everyday, we celebrate the freedom of the press and the internet. — We are Forever #SociallySparked ! Tweet us @sosparkednews