Coherent Identifier About this item: 20.500.12592/jhrk06

A mission to inform - Journalists at risk speak out

12 October 2020



Police intimidation, legal harassment, defamation and intimidation campaigns offline and increasingly online, pressure - economic or otherwise - from editors or media owners and sponsors, detentions, threats and physical violence: journalists are constantly exposed to these threats by those who feel threatened by their work.The murder of investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia¬†in October 2017 sent shock waves through Europe. Violence and¬†acts of harassment against journalists have become alarmingly¬†frequent, as was laid bare in the Council of Europe‚Äôs 2017 survey¬†of 940 journalists across the continent.This follow-up study is about the human cost to journalists who¬†seek to hold the powerful to account. It is based on in-depth¬†interviews with 20 journalists who use their reporting skills to¬†expose corruption, injustice and abuses, often putting their¬†safety at risk. They share their insights into the realities of¬†practising cutting-edge journalism while facing aggression,¬†intimidation and vicious cyber-attacks. Too often the necessary¬†protections fail and crimes against journalists go unpunished.¬†The freedom of the media to report without censorship or fear¬†of reprisals is an essential pre-condition of democratic societies.¬†This study represents a call for action to the 47 member states¬†of the Council of Europe, with practical and forward-looking¬†recommendations for ways to establish effective protection¬†for journalists to enable them to safely fulfil their vital public¬†watchdog role. Marilyn Clark and William Horsley, edited by Elena BrodealńÉ