Safety of Radio Journalists

In 2012 alone, an alarming number of journalists around the world, including radio journalists, have been killed for simply doing their job. While some of these reporters have been killed in areas of armed conflict, a majority are murdered as direct reprisal to reporting news in their communities.

Percentages of journalists killed by medium in 2012 [i]

Other types of attacks on journalists include abductions, hostage-taking, harassment, intimidation, as well as illegal arrest and detention. These acts are often perpetrated by police, security personnel and militia.

Journalists involved in regional and local radio are particularly vulnerable, as they can be subject to additional pressures from municipal government, landowners as well as gangs and other non-state armed groups. Out of 121 journalists killed in 2012, 18% worked in radio.[i]

Most abuses against reporters remain uninvestigated and unpunished, thereby perpetuating the cycle of violence and impacting press freedom around the world.

Guaranteeing media professionals the right to work free from the threat of violence is essential to their right to freedom of opinion and expression. UNESCO supports free, independent and pluralistic media as well as the legal frameworks and democratic institutions to support it.

In light of the worsening situation, UNESCO is spearheading The UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity initiative to provide a framework for the UN system to work together on this issue with its stakeholders. The Plan of Action aims to creating of a free and safe environment for journalists and media workers, in both conflict and non-conflict situations, with a view to strengthening peace, democracy and development worldwide.

Radio in the Line of Fire

Every day, journalists risk their personal safety in order to deliver news to their audiences. In an article for World Radio Day, Jean-Paul Marthoz explores the particular risks that community journalists face when scrutinizing local authorities. Read more...

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[i] Source: UNESCO

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