From 2016 to the end of 2021, 455 journalists were killed for their work or while on the job. Eighty-six journalists alone – that’s one death every four days – which is a “significant increase” from 55 killings in 2021. Latin America and the Caribbean were the “deadliest for journalists in 2022” recording 44 killings.
These are some of the findings of World Trends in Freedom of Expression and Media Development, a for 2021-22.
Journalism remains a “deadly profession” – “in nine times out of 10, the murder of a journalist is unresolved”. Only 13 percent of such cases recorded since 2006 have been judicially resolved. While 62 deaths were recorded in 2020, this number slightly improved to 55 deaths in 2021.
In 2022, Mexico recorded the most killings (19) followed by Ukraine (10) and Haiti (9). But between 2016 and 2020, Mexico recorded 61 killings, followed by Afghanistan (51), Syria (34), Yemen (24), Iraq (23), Pakistan (23), and India (22).
Importantly, in the last five years, 85 percent of the world’s population experienced a decline in press freedom in their country. Advertising revenue for newspapers “plummeted” in the ten-year period ending 2019, and the impact of Covid threatens to create an “extinction level” event for independent journalism outlets.
In India too, the media is under siege, as Kalpana Sharma wrote in her column for Newslaundry. But how much does this matter to non-journalists, and what will it take to make them care? to find out.