For reporters at risk around the world – because they’re exposing corruption, covering conflict, or afflicting the comfortable – today matters: it’s the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists. You’d think a group of professional communicators could have come up with a catchier name, but whatever it’s called, the day itself is recognition of an issue that should concern us all.
In the first nine months of 2016, 38 journalists were killed for their work, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). This is an improvement on 2015, when 72 were killed because of their journalism. This year, as last, the deadliest place is Syria, where 10 reporters were killed in 2016, six of them by forces of the Islamic State (also known as ISIS).
As CPJ notes, murder is the ultimate form of censorship. To focus on places where the killers are silencing the media unscathed, CPJ developed an Impunity Index on unsolved murders. It ranks Somalia number one in 2016, followed by Iraq and Syria.