Washington, DC (April 4, 2011) -- The Steering Committee for World Press Freedom Day 2011 launched its website, www.wpfd2011.org, today, unveiling the event’s agenda and opening registration to the public for this historic gathering. The conference is organized jointly by UNESCO, the U.S. Department of State, the Center for International Media Assistance at the National Endowment for Democracy, IREX, and the United Nations Foundation.
The program for the event, to be held May 1-3 in Washington, DC, is built around this year’s World Press Freedom Day theme, “21st Century Media: New Frontiers, New Barriers.” Dynamic conversations, commemorative, educational and interactive events will be held at the Newseum, the National Press Club, and other venues in Washington, DC. Registered attendees will have the opportunity to take part in more than 15 plenary and breakout sessions which will cover topics ranging from “Social Media: The New News Network?” and “New Barriers: Censorship in the Digital Age” to “New Frontiers: Transforming Media in the 21st Century.”
The United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) organizes World Press Freedom Day commemorations every year on May 3 worldwide. In a statement issued April 2nd, UNESCO Director-General Bokova noted, “The program for World Press Freedom Day 2011 is designed to foster a global conversation around some of the most important questions of our time and to support those around the globe who are on the front lines working to advance free expression.”
Keynote speakers at the event will include UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova, U.S. Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Judith McHale, and U.S. Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs Maria Otero. Among the more than 80 additional speakers are the leading voices on the front lines advancing and protecting press freedom around the world, including Bob Woodward, Associate Editor, Washington Post ,Wael Abbas, Egyptian journalist and blogger, and John Kampfner, Index on Censorship.
Registration is free and open, but space is limited. For World Press Freedom Day 2011 event registration information, please visit www.wpfd2011.org. Many sessions will be live streamed online for those unable to attend in person. Partnerships with Washington, DC-area universities and specialized press centers will provide additional opportunities for members of the media and bloggers to engage in World Press Freedom Day activities.