The Board of the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA), meeting on 31 May in Washington D.C. during the 67th World News Media Congress, 22nd World Editors Forum and 25th World Advertising Forum, calls for greater protections for journalists, and for journalists’ safety to be given higher priority by governments, international institutions, and the media industry itself.
The Board of WAN-IFRA notes with dismay that at least 1127 journalists have been killed in the line of duty since 1992.
The Board acknowledges that over 50-percent of these deaths involved journalists working in print media, and that in the vast majority of instances, those killed were local journalists.
The Board of WAN-IFRA denounces the impunity that surrounds the murder of journalists and urges stronger multilateral efforts to punish those who target journalists as a means of deterrent against future crimes. In more than 90 per cent of cases, no one is brought to justice.
The Board calls on governments worldwide to actively support the United Nations Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity. Equally, the Board encourages media support organisations to work more closely with media companies to address the gaps in training, equipment and expertise that could contribute to reducing dangers.
The Board of WAN-IFRA also calls for greater solidarity within the news industry to propose solutions that improve safety and protection for all journalists, and to work together to support media professionals working in unstable and unsafe environments as a means of strengthening press freedom worldwide.