Media Tracker | 1st January 2019

Media Tracker
Media Tracker lists the challenges and achievements of the journalists and media organisations worldwide. Here’s a list of journalism at risk stories in the recent month. We would like to thank international media protection organisation and news outlets for their content.

2018: An alarming year for journalists and media practitioners across the world.

According to a report by Reporters without borders, journalists have never before been subjected to as much violence and abusive treatment as in 2018.

A total of 80 journalists were killed this year, 348 are currently in prison, and 60 are being held hostage, according to the annual worldwide round-up of deadly violence and abusive treatment of journalists released by Reporters Without Borders (RSF), which shows an unprecedented level of hostility towards media personnel. Murders, imprisonment, hostage-taking and enforced disappearances have all increased.

Year 2018 was marked by an eight per cent to 80 increase, a 15 per cent rise, in the number of journalists who were killed in connection with their work. The number of professional journalists killed increased from 55 in 2017 to 63 this year

An alarm has been expressed by the international media watchdog organisations over an increased level of hostility towards the media encouraged by politicians, as well as efforts by authoritarian regimes to export their alternative vision of journalism.

The most gruesome murders of Saudi columnist Jamal Khashoggi and the young Slovak data journalist Ján Kuciak shocked the free media nd Human rights organisations. More than half of the journalists killed in 2018 were deliberately targeted.

Afghanistan became the world’s deadliest country for journalists in 2018, with 15 killed. It was followed by Syria, with 11 killed, and Mexico, the deadliest country outside a conflict zone, with nine journalists murdered in 2018. The fatal shooting of five employees of the Capital Gazette newspaper n June brought the United States into the ranks of the deadliest countries.

More journalists were detained or held hostage in 2018. The number of journalists detained worldwide 348 is up from 326 in the previous year.

In 2017, China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Turkey had more than half of the detained journalist population of the world. China remains the world’s biggest jailer of journalists with 60 currently held, of whom three quarters are non-professional journalists.

60 journalists are currently held hostage in the world. A number 11 per cent higher than this time last year, when it was 54. All but one are being held in three Middle Eastern countries: Syria, Iraq, and Yemen. They include six foreign journalists.

Despite the Islamic State’s defeat in Iraq and retreat in Syria, little information has emerged about the fate of these hostages, except for Japanese journalist Jumpei Yasuda, who was freed after three years of captivity in Syria. A Ukrainian journalist is still being held in the self-proclaimed “Donetsk People’s Republic” by the authorities who accuse him of spying. RSF also registered three new cases of journalists disappearing in 2018, two in Latin America and one in Russia.

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