Ending Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists
In the past decade alone, nearly 1,000 journalists globally have been killed in connection with their work, and full or partial impunity has been the rule. The United Nations should appoint a Special Representative for the Safety of Journalists, with the aim of enforcing international law and reducing the death toll.
PARIS – In many ways, there has never been a more dangerous time for journalists than the present. With simultaneous crises threatening media freedom and sustainability, this decade will be decisive for the future of a vocation that is crucial for societies’ well-being. What would the world look like if there were no professional, ethical journalists to report the news? Worryingly, this question is no longer hypothetical.
The issue of reporters’ safety remains vitally important. Although killings of journalists have decreased during the COVID-19 pandemic, threats to their safety continue to evolve and increase. These threats are also becoming more nuanced and harder to combat.
Last year, more journalists were killed in countries supposedly at peace than in war zones, and the percentage of reporters killed on the job who were deliberately targeted was higher than ever before. Many of the victims were working to expose corruption and report on other sensitive topics.