Predators of the Press — December 12, 2018 at 6:16 pm

Predators of the Press

by

By Michelle Rowe-Jardine and Kit Kolbegger

Every year, there are hundred of attacks on journalism around the world, ranging in severity from murder to hacking to mere attempts to delegitimize the industry. In every issue, Convergence puts a spotlight on places where journalism and those who do it are targeted.

Click points on the map to read a little bit about five countries Convergence is highlighting this year.

This has been a violent year full of fear-mongering and vehement ferocity directed at journalists around the globe.

With the term “fake news” leaking into daily lexicons as a means for justifying a flood of brute force and thinly-veiled threats, the integrity of journalism is being undermined from continent to continent.

Reporters are being framed as criminals with a combined number of 333 journalists, citizen journalists and media assistants currently in prison, according to Reporters Without Borders.

Saudi Arabia reportedly leads the pack with 24 jailed journalists and citizen journalists.

Even more unsettling than the high number of media operatives sitting in cells is the number of journalists who have been killed while trying to do their jobs.

The Committee to Protect Journalists estimates that as of Nov. 30, 66 journalists have been killed.

Reporters Without Borders data shows Afghanistan as having the highest numbers at 14 journalists killed in 2018.

By the beginning of December, there were already as many journalists killed as in all twelve months of 2017.

The United Nations has pointed to political leaders as having blood on their hands when it comes to violent acts against the media.

On Oct. 26, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization started a campaign called #TruthNeverDies in an effort to draw attention to the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists on Nov. 2.

The UNESCO campaign took to Twitter with a brief yet haunting message: Each year one journalist gets a Pulitzer and 100 get shot.

On Oct. 31, UN-appointed human rights experts called out world leaders for advocating violence against members of the media shortly after Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi was brutally murdered.

“These last weeks have demonstrated once again the toxic nature and outsized reach of political incitement against journalists, and we demand that it stop,” the statement read.

 

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