The Board of the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA), meeting on the 12 October 2014 in Amsterdam, Holland, during the World Publishing Expo 2014, the 13th International Newsroom Summit, the 7th Tablet and App Summit and the World Printers Forum, calls on governments worldwide to provide greater protections for media working in conflict areas and to do more to end the impunity that persists for the killers of journalists.
The recent murders of American photojournalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff contribute to a total of 40 journalists killed so far this year. The WAN-IFRA Board is appalled that at least 980 journalists have been murdered in the past decade, and that in two-thirds of cases their killers go unpunished.
The Board of WAN-IFRA believes the targeting of journalists represents a serious threat to maintaining free, independent media. Stronger protections across legal and institutional frameworks, more resources and better practices are needed to prioritise safety.
So long as those who attempt to silence the media can continue to do so without the threat of justice for their actions, journalists will continue to die to bring us the news. The Board of WAN-IFRA calls for greater focus on the issue of impunity, for better support to governments seeking to revise legislation to combat crimes against the media, and greater assistance to news organisations in implementing mechanisms designed to protect journalists’ safety.