World Press Freedom Day, May 3, is a worthy, but often lack-lustre day on the global calendar. It’s a moment when hundreds of groups campaigning for free expression around the world bury their secret rivalries and come together to condemn governments and others who put journalists and writers to the sword. But this year’s events will be anything but boring. Inside the free speech community arguments are raging about the limits to free speech after the killings of journalists at the French magazineCharlie Hebdo in January this year.
How can journalism thrive when journalists are being attacked for exposing abuses and corruption? When they are being killed and imprisoned in record numbers? When they are caught in a terror dynamic in which they are targeted by militants and censored by states purporting to respond to terrorism? (via Committee to Protect Journalists)
Journalists and media workers continue to confront relentless pressure as they do their jobs, according to a survey of the verified incidents reported to Index on Censorship’s Mapping Media Freedom project. (via Index on Censorship)
It sounds simple. Journalists need to be able to do their work in the public interest without interference of fear. But many obstacles make this hard – even impossible. And when that happens, we all lose. This Story Map shows a world tour of events that IFEX members report are chilling – or, in some cases, warming – the climate for free media in countries around the globe.
Press freedom is a vital element of journalism, but is it important to remember the difference between free expression and journalism. The EJN Director, Aidan White, explains why journalistic speech needs to be contained by ethical values.
Terrorist groups and the governments who purport to fight them have made recent years the most dangerous period to be a journalist, the Committee to Protect Journalists found in its annual global assessment of press freedom, Attacks on the Press. Some journalists are kidnapped or killed by militant groups while others are surveilled, censored, or imprisoned by governments seeking to respond to that threat, real or perceived.
Journalism has never been more dangerous, and journalists say they have never felt so unsafe doing their jobs.
The overwhelming majority of respondents to our quantitative survey, 88 percent, agreed that the safety of journalists and media workers is more of an issue than it was 10 years ago , with 86 percent saying that journalists are more likely to be targets of violence. Local journalists are particularly at risk. We found that even those who don’t work in hostile environments face greater dangers than they did in the past.
More aggressive tactics by authoritarian regimes and an upsurge in terrorist attacks contributed to a disturbing decline in global freedom in 2014. Freedom in the World 2015 found an overall drop in freedom for the ninth consecutive year.
Nearly twice as many countries suffered declines as registered gains—61 to 33—and the number of countries with improvements hit its lowest point since the nine-year erosion began. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, a rollback of democratic gains by Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s intensified campaign against press freedom and civil society, and further centralization of authority in China were evidence of a growing disdain for democratic standards that was found in nearly all regions of the world.