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Every five days a journalist is killed for bringing information to public

IndiaEvery five days a journalist is killed for bringing information to public

UNESCO:  Democracy cannot exist without independent press and professional journalism, without verified and free information, especially in our world, shaken by crises, from pandemics to climate change, and conflicts” –

This is the ranking for freedom of the press in India.  Senior anchor and journalist Rajdeep Sardesai tweeted:

World Press Freedom Index Ranking of India
2016: Rank 133
2018: Rank 138
2021: Rank 142
And now,
2022: Rank 150 out of 180. Enough said. Happy world press freedom day!




Out of the 94 people killed, five were from Pakistan.  The new death toll records a slight increase, up from 82 killings recorded the previous year, and represents a reversal of the downward trend from the last three years.

According to IFJ’s list for 2018, armed conflict and militant extremism accounted for most journalists’ killings in countries like Afghanistan, Syria, and Yemen, while there was a sharp decline in violence against journalists in Iraq since armed groups lost power in the country.

These factors contributed to perpetuating an environment in which, consistently, there are more journalists killed for covering their communities, cities, and countries than for reporting in armed zones.

According to the records for 2018, the Asia Pacific had the highest killing tally with 32, followed by the Americas with 27 killings, and the Middle East and the Arab World registered 20 cases. Africa comes fourth with 11 killings before Europe with four.

The IFJ list for 2018 highlighted the barbaric murder of the Washington Post columnist and Saudi national, Jamal Khashoggi, who was killed in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2. This was the latest in a series of horrific attacks on media professionals, including the multiple bomb attacks which transformed Afghanistan into a slaying zone for journalists and the rule of violence by the organized mafia in Mexico which targets journalists.

He said that as such the numbers stood as a damning indictment of the authorities for their failure to uphold the journalists’ right to their physical safety and to guarantee an informed public discourse in a democracy.

There are low convictions, and a poor justice system while some journalists also voiced unwillingness to report attacks on them to the police. “Journalists have had police raid their homes, smash their cameras, and even fire tear-gas shells into their homes.

In July 2018, Fahad Shah, editor of The Kashmirwalla, took to Twitter to say that a teargas shell was fired into his home, two weeks after his parents’ car was broken. Shah did not file a formal complaint. “Whom do I complain to? I know who did it but what’s the point. Later, I got an ‘informal’ message via someone that it should not have been done and that the action was regretted,” he said to a researcher […],” the study says.

In many cases, if journalists did go for legal proceedings, they were not backed by their employers.

How Can One Stop This Violence against Journalists

There need to be strong grids to support journalists, human rights activists, lawyers, and medical practitioners who can also help by delivering timely assistance. The report also suggests building up a network of journalists’ organizations and groups to set up helplines, provide safety, and monitor cases and justice delivery till their conclusion.

Researchers make several recommendations such as reaching out to journalists, their families, and colleagues without delay, providing medical and financial assistance, and psychological assistance to families of the deceased as well as to journalists who have faced attack.

It is also recommended for the government to take a forceful stand when journalists are attacked, appointing a high-level official to look into the investigation and ensure that there is no pressure on law enforcement.

Apart from quasi-legal bodies like PCI (Press Council of India) and NHRC (National Human Rights Commission) taking suo-motu cognizance of such cases, they should endeavor to make their investigations and findings public, and monitor probes. Employers are urged to support their journalists and not leave them in the lurch to fend for themselves.

If the nation leaves journalists to fend for themselves or attack the fourth pillar of democracy, they are simply cutting the branch on the tree they are sitting on.


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