UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has underscored the need for free press disseminating reliable information to maintain peace and justice, especially during elections as "facts, not falsehoods" should guide the people while choosing their representatives. Noting that civic space has been shrinking worldwide at an alarming rate, Guterres said that he is "deeply troubled" by the growing number of attacks against journalists and the culture of impunity. \u201cA free press is essential for peace, justice, sustainable development and human rights. No democracy is complete without access to transparent and reliable information. It is the cornerstone for building fair and impartial institutions, holding leaders accountable and speaking truth to power,\u201d Guterres said in his message for the World Press Freedom Day, observed on May 3. The main celebration of World Press Freedom Day this year will take place in Addis Ababa, from May 1-3. The overall theme of the event will be the role of media in elections and democracy. Some 100 national events around the world are expected to complement the main celebration. The day was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 1993 following a Recommendation adopted at the twenty-sixth session of UNESCO's General Conference in 1991. \u201cFacts, not falsehoods, should guide people as they choose their representatives. Yet, while technology has transformed the ways in which we receive and share information, sometimes it is used to mislead public opinion or to fuel violence and hatred,\u201d he said, apparently referring to the alarming increase in spread of false and vitriolic information through social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Whatsapp. \u201cAnd with anti-media rhetoric on the rise, so too are violence and harassment against journalists, including women,\u201d he said, According to the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), almost 100 journalists were killed in 2018. \u201cHundreds are imprisoned. When media workers are targeted, societies as a whole pay a price,\u201d he said, calling on all to defend the rights of journalists, \u201cwhose efforts help us to build a better world for all.\u201d The UN chief's statement comes at a time when India is in the middle of general elections. Concerns have been raised over the use of social media platforms such as Whatsapp and Facebook to spread false information and spark hatred and incidents of violence. Ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, social media platforms and the Internet And Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) had presented a \u2018Voluntary Code of Ethics for the General Election 2019' to Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora. The Election Commission of India had said in a statement that the \u2018Code of Ethics' has been developed to ensure free, fair and ethical usage of social media platforms \u201cto maintain the integrity of the electoral process\u201d for the polls.