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.
The research presented here also constitutes a chapter on trends in the safety of journalists of the forthcoming full edition of UNESCO’s World Trends in Freedom of Expression and Media Development: Global Report 2021/2022.
Editorial team: Theresa Chorbacher Kate Musgrave, Rachel Pollack