Raise a Web Banner for World Press Freedom Day (May 3)

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I call for each newspaper website worldwide to create and display a banner ad on May 3rd for World Press Freedom Day.

During the past seven years, the World Association of Newspapers (WAN) has freely provided printed newspapers with photos, graphics, and texts about jailed or killed journalists, including essays by world notables denouncing the jailings or killings of journalists, that newspapers can publish on May 3rd.

Why shouldn’t newspapers’ online editions also campaign for world press freedom?

Online editions get their news from the same journalists. Plus, if online editions are to succeed print and become the dominant source of news during this century, then online editions must raise the banner for world press freedom. Let’s start now!

WAN has no World Press Freedom Day campaign materials specifically for online editions, a forgivable oversight. Moreover, my guess is that WAN might not have staff time or budget to create such materials between today and May 3rd.

Yet, online newspaper staffs are creative. I propose that online newspapers editions adapt the World Press Freedom Day infographics, photos, and texts that WAN offers online for printed edition use. Shrink the printed banners to banner ad size, etc.

Can your online newspaper afford to give one banner ad space on its home page?

It’s only for one day. If you don’t want to give us that advertising space, then just add another space for this campaign. (Or perhaps create a separate web page about World Press Freedom.) Can’t your online edition do that as a public service in honor of the thousands of journalists who risk their lives each day, some of whose work you might be publishing? Or for the more than 500 journalists who have been arrested and imprisoned this year? Or for the more than 50 who have been murdered this year?

What should news sites not operated by newspapers do?

WAN offers these campaign materials specifically to newspapers for use on May 3rd. I believe that prohibits use by other types of media organizations. However, this shouldn’t mean that other types of organizations can’t craft from their own campaign materials from other sources, notably from news stories about imprisoned or killed journalists. Do so!

Many newspaper publishers this year have declared that online is no longer subsidiary but core to their news efforts. Let’s make World Press Freedom Day core online, too!

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