UNITED NATIONS — The United Nations warned on Wednesday, World Press Freedom Day, of a disturbing shift in threats to people in the media, not just a sharp increase in killings of journalists around the world.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said it was “unbelievable” that data released earlier this year showed the numbers. 50% more journalists killed in 2022 compared to the previous year. UNESCO data recorded the deaths of 86 journalists in 2022, “one every four days, up from 55 murders in 2021.”
But it’s the nature of that threat that worries UNESCO officials.
“Many years ago when we started this monitoring, the main reason for killing journalists in the world was journalists covering conflicts, and now it is a minority of killings,” said Guilherme Canela De Souza Godoi, head of freedom of expression and security. The press department of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) told CBS News during a briefing on the eve of the 30-year-old event.
Now, he said, “90% of journalists killed are journalists or local journalists covering local issues, human rights abuses, corruption, illegal mining, environmental issues… and the perpetrators of this violence are not just state actors, they are organized crime, drugs. Lord, “Environmental Criminals.”
UNESCO director-general Audrey Azoulay went further, telling CBS News that journalists are facing “a perfect storm” today.
“At a moment when the news media is facing the biggest financial challenge in its history, we notice a more complicated puzzle about the type of attacks against journalists,” Azoulay said: “We are no longer talking about physical attacks (alone), we are talking about new threats online — Especially against women journalists — as well as psychological and legal attacks.”
A new survey suggests an underlying erosion of confidence may be fueling that trend in the US. A survey by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights found that about 75% of Americans believed that “the news media is increasing political polarization in the country” rather than working to heal it.
On Tuesday, lawyers for the Wall Street Journal asked the United Nations special rapporteur on freedom of expression to make an urgent appeal to Russia for the immediate release of the paper’s reporter, Ivan Gershkovich.
In a keynote address at UN headquarters, New York Times publisher AG Sulzberger said: “Without journalists providing news and information that people can rely on, I fear we will continue to see the unraveling of civic bonds, the erosion of democratic norms, and trust in institutions.” Weakness.”