What is it about?
Media is often considered as the fourth pillar of democracy and journalists are often the fulcrum of it. The United Nations observe 2nd November as an important day to raise awareness about ending impunity of crimes that happens to journalists across the world. Both women and men journalists are often the target of threats and crimes for reporting news and viral stories that puts spotlight on the unethical party that hampers their monetary interests.
Why this day is important?
It is important to recognize this day so as to raise awareness that journalists are often subjected to threats, tortutres and even violent crimes. And that the criminals are often exempted or not even sought after with urgency. The statistics are shocking which reveals that many journalists are killed every year by unethical groups or parties.
Theme for year 2023
This year theme is mainly focused on elevating the importance of safety of press and the journalists to ensure the genuinety of the elections. It also emphasizes that the safety responsibility falls upon the state in order to ensure independence, sustainability and diversity of the media organizations and that impunity of crimes against journalists should reduce.
Where it will take place?
The commemoration of the event will take place on 2nd and 3rd November at the Organization of American States (OAS) in Washington D.C. The emphasis will be strongly on the subject of the violence against journalists, the integrity of elections and the importance of public leadership.
How Impunity for crimes against journalists affects the society?
Suppression of the media voice against unethical pratices and crimes is not unheard of. The powerful syndicate of the criminals often find loopholes in the legal system that allows them to walk free even after committing grave crimes against the journalists and reporters. Such incidences creates a clout of fear and authority against the justice system and often demotivate the other journalists to unmask the crimes, unethical practices and corruption severely impacting the society. In short, impunity in such cases leads to media censorship in an indirect way.
With the advent of social media, transparency has become a lot easier which the journalists often use as a shield against the criminals. But before the social media, it was common to hear of the deaths of the journalists for putting spotlight on the criminals or their gangs.
Statistics of Violence against Journalists
As per United Nations, it is extremely rare for the criminals to get convicted for being involved in the killing the journalists. Data shows that more than 1600 journalists have paid a heavy price for uncovering news about the criminals. As per Statista, nearly 57 journalists were killed in the year 2022 itself.
Wishes for Fellow Journalists and Reporters
May there be a world soon where criminals would fear the journalists and not vice versa.
You guys have our heartiest salutes. May there be more like you in this world.
All the best wishes to the front-line workers who bring truth and justice to the unheard.
I am proud to have a friend like you because you play an important part of our democracy.
The world would be kind, supportive and thriving if there would be more journalists like you.
Are journalists protected internationally?
The United Nations advocates for the freedom and protection of journalists provided that they do not take part in any sort of hostility. Time and again the UN has passed and revised many International and regional laws in such matters. Some of them are listed below.
UN – The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948)
OHCHR – The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) (1976)
Human Rights Council Resolution (A/HRC/RES/21/12) on the Safety of Journalists (2012)
UN General Assembly Resolution (A/RES/69/185) on Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity (2014)
Human Rights Council Resolution (A/HRC/RES/51/9) on the Safety of Journalists (2022)
You can read about more laws on this page which advocates the rights of journalists for effective journalism.