This research project is no longer actively updated or managed.
Research Project

The Safety of Journalists

Journalists do more than simply bring us the story. They provide society with a key public good by disseminating new information. In this key role, journalists continue to face dangers both in conflict and in peacetime. They suffer from increasing censorship and restrictions on freedom of expression, bringing many into conflict with the governments they work under or the people they report on. Targeted violence against journalists is on the rise and in January 2012 alone, 10 journalists were killed worldwide. But why are journalists finding it more rather than less difficult to perform their job in the modern age of information dissemination? In what ways are they repressed or targeted in their work? What is the role of the State regarding impunity for the perpetrators of violence against journalists? And how can we stop this?

In 2011-12, the Centre of Governance and Human Rights conducted research for the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Mr. Christof Heyns. Our research pack and analysis report, both produced in March 2012, focus on issues of impunity towards journalist killings, and measures to protect journalists’ right to life. The CGHR report was presented and discussed at a two-day experts meeting in Cambridge, and the outcomes incorporated in the report by Mr. Heyns to the Human Rights Council in June 2012 to improve the safety of journalists.

In May 2015, the UN Security Council dedicated an all-day debate to the question of the protection of journalists, and adopted Resolution 2222 condemning impunity for attacks on journalists and calling on states and all parties to conflicts to ensure safe environments for media professionals to do their important work.