2020 marked killing of 50 journos
The international safeguard and non-profit organization, Reporters without Borders (RSF) unveiled a depressing scenario-50 journalists and media workers were killed because of their profession in 2020. This figure depicts that the world is not safe for the truth seekers who dedicate their lives for investigating wrongdoings, unveiling injustice and corruption practiced by unscrupulous people. Thus, they are becoming victims of targeted killings. What's worrying, however, the target killing of journalists has increased from 63 per cent to 84 per cent.
The watchdog highlighted that Mexico has become the deadliest country for journalists with 8 fatalities. In Mexico whoever attempts to cover issues on the political links of drug traffickers gets killed. It has been perceived that all over the world investigative reporters always face dire consequences for their fearless reporting, both in electronic and print media.
Furthermore, 5 journalists were killed in war-torn Afghanistan. Now, the million dollar question is why are the journalists being killed and facing repeated barbaric attacks?
Even amid this unprecedented time of a global pandemic we have seen that media front liners played a crucial role. The spread of Coronavirus and how to stop it dominates most of the news headlines right now.
Public health bodies rely on media to keep people informed but journalists are facing threats as they try to separate fact from misinformation. This becomes an excuse to censor the news and punish reporters. But in this crisis time media is working as an antidote.
Ironically, many journalists are facing restrictions and punishments simply for doing their jobs. We can bring examples to prove the aforementioned statement. We have witnessed that US president Donald Trump repeatedly attacked the journalists whenever he found an opportunity. In Hungary, jail penalty has been announced for journalists for spreading fake news. In Egypt a correspondent from the UK's Guardian newspaper was expelled as he reported that the infection rates may be higher than official figures.
In Iran two journalists were detained over a cartoon that made fun of officials who recommended traditional medicine to treat Covid-19. These examples clearly show that covering Coronavirus was so contentious. And, states have failed to establish freedom of press.
Even in our country the scenario is also grim. Our hands are shackled by Digital Security Act. Just a few days back Journalist Kajol who was detained for Digital Security Act and other cases was finally bailed out. Moreover, a number of journalists have been harassed and tortured in the name of DSA act. So far around 500 plus journalists have died of Covid-19. They risked their lives for the people to access correct news.
In the New Year we no longer wish to hear such ghastly tales of assaults, killings and detention of journos. Let's make a safe world for journalism and journalists.