Date to celebrate - May 3 - World Press Freedom Day
What's it all about?
The United Nations General Assembly recognises May 3 as World Press Freedom Day, to raise awareness of the importance of freedom of speech and expression. Journalists have been censored, imprisoned, even killed for bringing news to the public.
Your assembly is a great chance to get children talking about politics and human rights. You might take the opportunity to discuss the role of a free press in democracy. What other political systems are there? Why do some people want to silence the press? Younger children may be interested in learning about propaganda and censorship in general terms, whereas older children might be more concerned with specific events, such as the media ban during the recent Israeli occupation of Gaza.
Encourage debate as to the ethics of publication. Be sure to emphasise the balance between protecting the rights of the individual with the public's right to know.
You could even stage a mock press conference and encourage a new generation of free-spirited journalists.
Help, I've got no time to prepare
The Unicef website provides a range of resources on the subject for teachers, parents and children: www.unicef.orgmagic
Where do I get more information?