CPJ Pushes Governments to Track Down Journalist Killers

Governments internationally have not taken "meaningful action" to insure that the murderers of journalists are caught and punished and that inaction does not further embolden the killers.

That is according to a new study by the Committee to Protect Journalists— despite the increased attention on the murder of journalists. CPJ says that murder with impunity is one of the greatest threats to press freedom.

"It is crucial that national governments and the United Nations system provide the resources and political support to break the cycle of impunity in the killing of journalists," said Elisabeth Witchel, lead author of the report and consultant on CPJ's Global Campaign Against Impunity, in a statement.

The report, The Road to Justice: Breaking the Cycle of Impunity in the Killing of Journalists, comes just days before the first UN-recognized "International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists," which is Nov. 2.

It also comes amidst the series of gruesome killings of journalists by ISIS.

According to CPJ, 370 journalists have been murdered in the line of duty, with no convictions in 90% of those cases. Iraq, Somalia, the Philippines, Mexico, and Russia are among the countries with the highest rates of impunity for journalist murders. Columbia is held up as a sign of progress.

CPJ is calling on national governments and leaders to publicly condemn, "unequivocally, all acts of violence against journalists." It also wants the UN and intergovernmental bodies to start holding member states accountable to combating impunity, and for journalists to monitor progress.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.