Is the world becoming a more dangerous place for journalists? There have been far too many incidents that make us answer “yes” to this question. Where journalists go and what they do to get information can be risky.
In 2017, 55 journalists died, and in 2018, there were 56 as of October whose deaths were clearly linked to their work. According to Committee to Protect Journalist’s Global Impunity Index, which measures countries where journalists are killed and their killers go free, Somalia takes the top of the list of offenders for the fourth year in a row. Two countries have re-joined the list, including Afghanistan, where a twin bombing took place in Kabul killing nine journalists. These nine include AFP photographer Shah Marai Fezi and BBC reporter Ahmad Shah, who was shot dead by an unidentified gunman in eastern Khost a few hours later. Colombia has also re-joined the list after a guerrilla group with ties to drug trafficking kidnapped a news crew near the border in Ecuador and killed them on Colombian territory.
In the past decade, there have been 324 journalists silenced with murder, and no criminal was convicted in 85 percent of these cases. In total, 52 percent of journalists were killed in war zones since the start of this year. One well-known journalist that has died recently is Jamal Khashoggi. Khashoggi’s death is claimed to be a mistake by Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir. A 15-person team was allegedly on a rogue operation when they walked in to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, the place where Khashoggi was last seen alive. This situation put a lot of stress on US-Saudi and Saudi-Turkish alliances. Now, U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) does not believe that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman was not involved in the murder and did not have any knowledge of it. According to NBC News, Sen. Graham said, “They are an important ally, but when it comes to the Crown Prince, he is irrational, he is unhinged, and I think he has done a lot of damage to the relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia, and I have no intention of working with him ever again.” The CIA concluded on November 16 that the Crown Prince had ordered the assassination himself. President Trump, on the other hand, believes the Crown Prince, saying that the prince had told him about five times that he was not involved. Sen. Graham says, “From the legislative branch side, we’re going to as much as we can, as hard as we can, to send a signal to the world. This is not how we expect an ally to act. What happened in Turkey violates every norm of civilized society and it will not stand.”
In my eyes, the world is becoming a more dangerous place for journalists. Something needs to change in the way the world solves their problems.