Reporters Without Borders: Freedom of the Press 2023
Reporters Without Borders: Freedom of the Press 2023

Reporters Without Borders: Press Freedom Index 2023:

World Press Freedom Day is observed every year on May 3rd to raise awareness about the importance of press freedom and remind governments of their duty to respect and uphold the right to freedom of expression enshrined in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The day allows us to commemorate journalists who have lost their lives and reminds us of the importance of a free press to democracy, human rights and holding those in power to account.

This year’s World Press Freedom Day comes amid rising concerns about the state of press freedom globally. A report published by Reporters Without Borders (RSF), found a total of 533 journalists were imprisoned worldwide in 2022, a 13.4% increase from the year before. The number of detained women journalists has risen faster still, with women now accounting for 14.6% of media workers in jail.

The number of journalists killed in 2022 also increased, to 57. The war in Ukraine accounted for some of the rise, but the number of media workers killed in peacetime was also up. The Americas accounted for nearly half of all murdered journalists in 2022, with Brazil seeing the deaths of Dom Phillips and Bruno Pereira, who were murdered while reporting on Amazon deforestation.

China is the biggest jailer of journalists followed by Myanmar, Iran, Vietnam and Belarus. These five countries account for 54% of the world’s jailed media workers.

Iran’s detention of journalists is particularly concerning. The country has seen large protests and an upsurge in arrests since the death of Mahsa Amini in September 2022, who died following her arrest by Iranian morality police for allegedly wearing a hijab incorrectly. Of the women journalists detained, Nilufar Hamedi and Elahe Mohammedi were the first to cover the Amini story. Both are charged with “propaganda against the system and conspiring against national security,” which is punishable with the death penalty.

It is crucial to emphasise the need for press freedom in a democratic society. The media plays an essential role in keeping people informed and holding those in power accountable. However, as RSF’s report shows, press freedom is under attack in many parts of the world, and journalists are paying the price. Governments must do more to ensure that journalists can report freely and safely and those who violate press freedom are held accountable.

On World Press Freedom Day, we must stand in solidarity with journalists everywhere and assert our right to freedom of expression.

Together, we can work towards a world where press freedom is respected and upheld.


EDM 1123
EDM 1123
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