Don’t shoot the messenger – journalists’ safety under threat across the world
According to the International Press Institutes’s “death watch” figures, over 90 journalists have been killed so far this year. That’s one every few days. Since 2000, more than 900 journalists have died because of their work.
The killers of journalists are almost never brought to justice. This has created a climate of impunity in which - from the perspective of the killers - the murder of journalists is trivial, an act that can be repeated again and again with no fear of arrest or conviction.
Those who kill and physically assault journalists, or arbitrarily send them to prison, have one goal: to silence the messenger and intimidate other journalists.
They seek to ruthlessly censor and promote self-censorship. They constitute the world’s gravest threat to press freedom.
The safety of journalists is a fundamental pillar of the universal, inalienable right to press freedom, enshrined in the universal declaration of human rights, which stipulates the right of people everywhere to receive and transmit information.
When fear prompts journalists to self-censor, the free flow of information is impaired. Citizens are deprived of information. Accountability – in both the public and private sectors – is undermined. And democracy is threatened.
In the absence of critical, independent information, it is disinformation, propaganda and incitement which prevail. It is therefore the duty of everyone – not just journalists and civil society actors, but especially governments – to abide by international commitments, to respect the fundamental right to press freedom in action and not just in words, and to participate in a global effort to promote and ensure the safety of journalists. (via guardian.co.uk)