UNESCO’s World Press Freedom Day (3 May) acts as a reminder of the importance of respecting commitments to freedom of the press. It calls for reflection on how these freedoms were achieved, evaluation of the current state of press freedom around the world, and remembrance of those journalists who have lost their lives in pursuit of providing access to information.

World Press Freedom Day 2023 will mark the 30th anniversary of this Day’s establishment. To celebrate the anniversary, UNESCO is calling on broad participation in global celebrations on this year’s theme, “Shaping a Future of Rights: Freedom of expression as a driver for all other human rights”. Read more here.

Exploring the Role of Documentary Heritage and Memory

The UNESCO Memory of the World Programme’s Sub-Committee for Education and Research (SCEaR) will celebrate 30 years of World Press Freedom Day with a special edition of its newsletter on “Press Freedom and Documentary Heritage”.

Memory of the World calls for further exploration on the potential of documentary heritage to promote inclusive, just, and peaceful societies. This issue will therefore explore how press freedom has evolved over the centuries – and how the memory of this evolution is captured and preserved in our documentary heritage.

Call for Articles

In cooperation with IFLA, the SCEaR Newsletter’s Special Issue  on Press Freedom and Documentary Heritage will feature short articles that centre documents which are related to press freedom. These might range from key newspapers to historic articles exploring press freedom, to trial documents, international declarations, photos, films, and beyond.

What are the key documents that preserve our memory and form our understanding of press freedom?

Library professionals are invited to submit short articles that highlight items in their collections or beyond for this special newsletter.

Key considerations

  • Submissions should explore 1-2 documentary heritage objects.
  • Objects do not have to be registered on any Memory of the World Register
  • Objects should fall within one of the following time periods:
    • 17th-18th century
    • 19th-20th century
    • 1991-present (Post-Windhoek Declaration)
  • Selected articles will represent good geographic diversity

Articles should explore how selected objects relate to Press Freedom, such as how they contribute to our understanding of this fundamental human right and its history.  Articles may choose to also touch on issues on the item’s preservation and enduring access, and why this is important for transmitting memory. Alternatively, information on how the item has been or could be used for education, research, or awareness raising purposes would also be welcome.

Format and length

  • 2-4 pages in A4 size including maximum 3 images (black and white or colour) or links to film or audio documents. Please refrain from sending large files for photos.
  • Font: Garamond Size 12
  • Line distance: 1,15. No marginal alignment on the right side. 2,5cm margin on all sides.

A formatting template is available upon request.

Your contribution must be made free of copyright.

Completed article submissions can be sent to Claire McGuire (IFLA HQ): [email protected]

IFLA and the Memory of the World SCEaR will inform you regarding the selection of your article after 1 April 2023.

 Deadline: 20 March 2023

Questions: [email protected].