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EditorialUnsafe journalists

Unsafe journalists

According to the International Federation of Journalists, 67 media professionals have been killed this year while performing their jobs, with five Pakistani journalists being among them so far (IFJ). Remember, the year is not over yet. The statistics highlight the necessity for effective measures to safeguard the rights and freedoms of journalists because 2022 has seen an increase in the number of journalists who have been killed or imprisoned. Up to 47 journalists were killed in the past year. Hasnain Shah, Ziaur Rehman Farooqi, Iftikhar Ahmed, Muhammad Younis, and Sadaf Naeem are the Pakistani journalists who died in 2022. Arshad Sharif, who was killed in Kenya, is not listed.  He could be on the Kenyan list, but his family is battling for justice in Pakistan, not Kenya. Sadaf Naeem, a reporter for Channel 5, is the most recent person to pass away while reporting the PTI long march. For her family, the Punjab government offered a donation of Rs. 5 million. To obtain exclusive news for her channel, the reporter was attempting to climb the trailer. Two additional members of the press survived after falling off the trailer.

The safety of journalists is a topic that both media organizations and journalists themselves frequently overlook. The UN General Assembly must pass a resolution on the IFJ Convention on the Safety and Independence of Journalists. The rise in the number of murders of journalists and other media professionals is a serious reason for concern and serves as yet another reminder to governments throughout the world to take action to defend journalism. To prepare journalists to cover such events, the government and the press community must set up some training facilities. Additionally, their salary shouldn’t be determined by the accomplishment of such risky objectives. Safety should always come first.

A bill protecting journalists was just passed in Pakistan, but its effects have not yet materialised. The inaction on part of governments will only empower those who want to stifle free speech and weaken the ability of the populace to hold their leaders accountable, particularly by making sure that individuals in positions of authority do not obstruct the development of inclusive and open societies. Deaths from China, Belarus, Egypt, Hong Kong, Iran, Myanmar, Turkiye, and Russia are included on the IFJ’s list. At least 375 journalists and media professionals are currently imprisoned, which is a new high since two years ago when the IFJ started publishing names of imprisoned journalists, making journalists one of the first casualties of the crackdowns.

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