Increased killings of Journalists

By: Nikita Lourenço Calling,

Welcome to our blog, the Human Righter. We shed light on contemporary human rights issues and comment on human rights developments. We dig deep into our focus areas within human rights, discuss SDGs and human rights. You will also find book reviews and analyses of new laws. 

This text was written by Nikita Lourenco Calling, Communications Officer at RWI and Noha Yasser, Intern at RWI. 


During the second day of the Human Rights Festival on 8 December, we screened the movie ‘The Killing Of A Journalist’. The movie takes place in Slovakia, where a young investigative journalist and his wife are brutally murdered. When the police files of the murder investigation are leaked to the reporter’s colleagues, they uncover vast corruption reaching the highest levels of Slovak society including those in place to protect the system.

This year, 67 journalists and media staff have been murdered around the world, not counting accidental killings – a reversal in the downward trend shown in most recent years. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) have reported that 12 journalists have been murdered in Ukraine, more than in any other of the 21 countries recorded. Many of whom were killed during the first weeks of the war. According to the IFJs ‘killed list’, the least amount of recorded killings were in Africa, followed by the Middle East where the publicized murder of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh happened in May this year, during broad daylight.

The IFJ focuses on five regions; Middle East and the Arab World, Africa, Asia and Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Europe. The region with the highest number of killings was Latin America and the Caribbean at 29, followed by Asia Pacific (16), Europe at 13, of which 12 were in Ukraine and the remaining one in Turkey, and finally the Middle East and Arab World (5).

The framework mentioned in the legal framework part of the movie ‘The Killing of a Journalist’ is important in order to protect journalists and to discourage corrupt activities. This framework provides legal protections to journalists, including legal protection from criminal prosecution and the ability to remain anonymous when reporting on corruption. It also ensures that corrupt officials are subject to financial penalties, criminal prosecution, and public shaming in order to hold them accountable for their actions.

The legal protection provided to journalists is essential in order to ensure their safety and to protect them from potential threats or harm that may arise from their investigative reporting. This type of protection is especially important for journalists who are engaged in reporting on sensitive topics, such as corruption and other illegal activities. Laws should be established to ensure that any threats or attacks against these journalists are taken seriously and investigated. Additionally, journalists should be granted access to information and documents that are relevant to their reporting, even if these documents are not available to the public.

Punishments for corrupt officials are also an important part of this framework. Financial penalties, including the seizure of assets, are necessary in order to discourage and punish corrupt activities. Additionally, criminal prosecution and imprisonment should be used to ensure that corrupt officials are held accountable for their actions. Public shaming is also an important tool to discourage corruption, as the names of corrupt officials should be made public and their actions should be widely reported.

Overall, the legal framework put forth by the movie ‘The Killing of a Journalist’ is essential in order to protect journalists and to discourage corrupt activities. This framework provides legal protection to journalists, ensures that corrupt officials are held accountable, and encourages public shaming of those who engage in corrupt activities. This framework is essential in order to ensure the safety of journalists and to promote a society free from corruption.

The conclusion of The Killing of a Journalist highlights the dangers of corruption and the need for a legal framework to protect journalists who are engaged in investigative reporting. It is important to enact laws to protect journalists from potential threats and harm that may arise from their reporting, as well as to punish corrupt officials who use their power and influence to threaten or harm journalists. This legal framework should include protections for journalists, such as legal protection, whistleblower protection, and access to information, as well as financial penalties, criminal prosecution, and public shaming for corrupt officials.

In order for this legal framework to be effective, it must be applied consistently and fairly to all journalists and corrupt officials. It is also important to ensure that all journalists are aware of the protections and penalties that are available to them, and that they are able to safely and securely exercise their rights to freedom of expression and investigative reporting. Finally, it is essential to create an environment of transparency and accountability, where corrupt officials are held accountable for their actions and journalists are able to do their jobs without fear of retribution.

The Killing of a Journalist serves as an important reminder of the dangers of corruption and the need for stronger legal protections for journalists. By creating a legal framework to protect journalists and punish corrupt officials, we can ensure that journalists can safely and securely do their jobs without fear of retribution. This is essential for upholding the freedom of the press and for ensuring that investigative reporting can continue to uncover and expose the truth.

Image: Michael Fousert

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