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Journalists Must Be Protected


Reuters journalist arrest protest (File)

Attempting to control the flow of information and eliminate the publication of unfavorable or critical news, state actors and non-state proxies for authoritarian leaders and governments have been waging extensive and often brutal campaigns to silence independent media.

Journalists Must Be Protected
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A free and democratic society cannot exist without a robust, free, and independent press. That’s because journalists effectively and consistently expose activities and practices, including government deception and corruption, that cripple and kill democratic institutions. They keep the public informed. By doing so, they keep the government and the powerbrokers honest.

Attempting to control the flow of information and eliminate the publication of unfavorable or critical news, state actors and non-state proxies for authoritarian leaders and governments have been waging extensive and often brutal campaigns to silence independent media. Journalists, editors, publishers and other media workers have been harassed, smeared with false accusations, detained, physically attacked -- even murdered.

According to Journalists Without Borders, globally, nearly eleven hundred journalists have been killed over the past decade. Since the beginning of this year, 26 journalists and 2 media workers have been killed. Another 460 journalists and 18 media workers are detained.

“The United States remains deeply concerned over the targeted harassment of journalists in many places around the world,” said U.S. Representative to the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations Lisa Carty. This year, the safety and working conditions for journalists within Russia and in the parts of Ukraine under Russia’s control remain particularly problematic.

“At least seven journalists have been killed while covering Russia’s unprovoked and unwarranted war against Ukraine. Reportedly, at least 21 more journalists have been unjustly detained within the areas of Ukraine controlled by Russia, many of whose fate is unknown. These figures may only be the tip of the iceberg and they highlight the Russian government’s fear of truthful reporting of its war.”

Speaking at the UN Security Council’s meeting on the protection of journalists, Ambassador Carty noted that around the world “women in journalism are disproportionately impacted by threats and attacks, which are more often gendered and sexualized than threats against their male counterparts and increasingly take place online.”

“The United States condemns all threats, harassment, and violence against journalists and media workers.”

“A free and independent media is essential to democracy and plays a crucial role in the free exchange of information and ideas, combatting corruption, and making government more accountable and transparent,” said Ambassador Carty. “No journalists should face harassment, intimidation, or violence for doing their job.”
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