Publication Date: November 2021
Publisher: UNESCO
Research and Editorial Team: Theresa Chorbacher, Kate Musgrave, Rachel Polla

The past five years show that the perpetrators continue to get away with murder in nine of every 10 killings of journalists, and that other threats continue to mount against news reporters.

For  the  period 2016–2020, UNESCO recorded 400 killings of journalists.

This  figure is a nearly 20 percent decrease from the previous five-year  period. Yet, unabated levels of impunity for these cases correlate with increases in imprisonment and other attacks. The daunting combination, including  online violence, spurs self-censorship. This Insights discussion paper records these trends, alongside new analysis that elucidates what is  unique  about violence against journalists. Also recorded are recent international and  national level efforts to protect journalists and their vital work.

Under the umbrella of the 2021 Director-General’s request for information on judicial follow-up to cases of killings of journalists, 28 countries (44 percent) have reported to UNESCO positive steps that they have taken in establishing and implementing stronger protection, prosecution, prevention, and reporting measures to enhance the safety of journalists.

The paper suggests some good practices, to be supported by states and international organizations, such as monitoring, research, legislative reforms, training and advocacy.

Tags: Safety of journalists

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