Another day, another international occasion to commemorate: today is World Press Freedom Day (3 May), hot on the heels of World Intellectual Property Day (26 April); both United Nation’s designated awareness days
World Press Freedom Day is an opportunity to celebrate the fundamental principles of press freedom; assess the state of press freedom throughout the world; defend the media from attacks on their independence; and pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the line of duty.
In parallel World Intellectual Property Day creates the chance to learn about the role that intellectual property (IP) rights play in encouraging innovation and creativity.
The two concepts are linked: freedom to investigate and report news stories that impact society is fuelled by the opportunity for authors to benefit financially from their work, including books that build on the findings on investigative journalists.
When these human rights are denied, the likes of Amnesty International, PEN International, Reporters Without Borders, Witness, and Prisoners Abroad step in to highlight bad behaviour by leaders and regimes that exclude dissenting voices from public conversations.
When the press has the freedom to investigate and when intellectual property laws give writers an income to support their work, we all benefit and have the chance to live in a better world.