Ressa, Aristegui, Attalah and Caruana Galizia among confirmed speakers at World Press Freedom Conference

A number of prominent figures from the world of journalism and the media will take the stage at the digital World Press Freedom Conference (WPFC) which will be held on 9 and 10 December 2020 and broadcast from the World Forum in The Hague.

The speakers will include:

  • Maria Ressa, is the co-founder and CEO of the independent Philippine journalistic platform Rappler. She is currently involved in a judicial process relating to cyberlibel charges. Maria Ressa was included in TIME's Person of the Year 2018 as one of the journalists around the world contributing to the fight against the spread of disinformation and rumours. She was also President of the Jury of the 2018 UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize;
  • Carmen Aristegui, one of Mexico's leading journalists and opinion leaders and anchor at CNN en Español;
  • Lina Attalah, chief editor of the independent online paper Mada Masr, and recently named by TIME as one of the 100 most influential people of 2020;
  • Matthew Caruana Galizia, investigative journalist, son of the Maltese journalist Daphne Galizia who was killed by a car bomb in 2017.

Their personal stories, and those of many others, will receive special attention during this WPFC. The Conference will jointly celebrate World Press Freedom Day (3 May) and the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists (2 November).


The goal of WPFC 2020 is to highlight the importance of freedom of the press in the world, around the theme “Journalism without Fear or Favour”. This is all the more necessary in light of recent events, such as the COVID-19 pandemic but also the raise in incidents of violence against journalists covering protests across the world, as reported by UNESCO. Because of the current sanitary crisis, the event’s organisers – UNESCO and the Kingdom of the Netherlands – have decided that this year’s edition would be digital. Thousands of journalists, academics, politicians, students, NGOs, legal experts and other interested parties worldwide will be able to take part in the conference through a special online platform. The number of online slots is limited, so we encourage you to reserve a spot ahead of time. Registration for WPFC 2020 is now open.


The conference programme consists of an official opening and closing ceremony and 15 sessions over the course of 24 hours, which will discuss pressing issues regarding media freedom, such as:

  • the impact of COVID-19 on media sustainability;
  • new forms of attacks against journalists and the gender dimensions of safety;
  • tackling impunity for crimes against journalists;
  • promoting diversity in the media;
  • and the challenges of regulating online content.

Many sessions will have the format of a TV ‘talk show’, and include interactive and innovative elements.

Award ceremony

The 2020 UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize will be presented to the Colombian investigative journalist Jineth Bedoya Lima, known for her relentless investigations on the armed conflict and peace process in her country, despite having been kidnapped twice and endured unacceptable risks. As we move closer to the opening of the conference, additional names of other renowned participants in the WPFC will be announced.

As we move closer to the opening of the conference, additional names of other renowned participants in the WPFC will be announced.

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