World Press Freedom Day — “No Democracy without Investigative Journalism”

At a time when the news media is under unprecedented attack, and the need for watchdog reporting has never been greater, we hope you will join GIJN today in marking World Press Freedom Day (#WorldPressFreedomDay). This is the 25th celebration of WPFD, but despite the years of meetings and proclamations by its sponsors UNESCO and others, conditions are getting worse, not better, for journalists around the world.

Today’s the Day: End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists

Every four days, a journalist is killed somewhere in the world. This data comes from UNESCO, which estimates that between 2006 and 2016, 930 journalists were killed worldwide. On Wednesday, the Committee to Protect Journalists released their 10th annual Global Impunity Index, just before the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists on November 2.

World Press Freedom Day: Critical Minds, Critical Times

This year, World Press Freedom Day’s theme “Critical Minds for Critical Times” drives home the need for everyone to sharpen their minds to defend the freedoms — free, independent, and pluralistic media — that are essential for justice and peace. Without audiences demanding well-researched and conflict-sensitive narratives, critical reporting will be increasingly side-lined. Every citizen has a direct stake in the quality of the information environment.

Getting Away with Murder: The Impunity Record

For International Day to End Impunity, our excerpt today is an annex from a new UN report. It makes for a chilling read — an updated list of the status of judicial inquiries into journalist killings from 2006 to 2015. Out of 827 journalists killed in the past decade, only 63 have been resolved. The message right now is clear: opponents of a free press can literally get away with murder. Until we fix the problem of impunity, it will be impossible to meet the UN development goal of ensuring public access to information.

UNESCO Report Calls for Stronger Source Protection

On the occasion of International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists, UNESCO is releasing a new study today, World Trends In Freedom of Expression and Media Development. Of particular note is the chapter Protecting Journalism Sources in the Digital Age. We are reprinting below that section’s key findings and recommendations, which add another important voice calling for stronger measures to protect sources.

Int’l Day To End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists

There is a war on journalism around the world, and those attacking us are literally getting away with murder. Over the past decade more than 700 journalists have been killed — and less than one in ten of those cases have been solved. On average, a journalist is killed every five days while practicing his or her profession. Join your colleagues this November 2 for International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists. There will be events around the world spearheaded by UNESCO, the UN agency with a mandate to defend freedom of expression and press freedom.

Events in 100 Countries Mark World Press Freedom Day

Every year, 3 May is a date which celebrates the fundamental principles of press freedom; to evaluate press freedom around the world, to defend the media from attacks on their independence and to pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the exercise of their profession. It is World Press Freedom Day. Over 100 national celebrations take place each year to commemorate this Day.