In 1993, the General Assembly declared 3 May World Press Freedom Day. This initiative began at the UNESCO General Conference where, in a resolution passed in 1991 on “Promoting the Freedom of the Press in the World”, it was recognised that a free, pluralist and independent press is an essential component of any democratic society.
On 5 May 2009 a seminar on “Challenges for building citizenship: Communications media as a platform for dialogue” was held at the Casa Central of the Universidad de Chile, organized by OREALC/UNESCO Santiago and the Regional Delegation for Collaboration with UNESCO for South America and Brazil of the French Embassy in Chile, with the Freedom of Expression Programme at the Universidad de Chile and the UNESCO Chair on Communications Media an Citizen Participation at the Universidad Diego Portales.
The meeting, which had national and international participants, provided a forum for reflection and discussion on key issues in the field: the main problems in promoting pluralism and diversity; challenges for journalism and the media in a context of rapid technological renewal and economic crisis; work in the design and execution of public policy; and communications research.
This publication brings together the presentations made during the seminar, while also laying down the commitments made in these matters by presidential candidates – declarations that are hoped to be transformed into an agenda not only for the 2010-2014 administration, but also for the political sectors represented.