By ISABELLA MESQUITA
Journalism has always been a praised and honorable profession, but to what extent can it continue serving its purpose if it implies a life-threatening outcome to those who practice it?
According to the United Nations Human Rights Council, 1,055 journalists have been killed worldwide in the past 22 years and 80 have already been killed in 2015.
Many may think that this number is due to the risky situations journalists put themselves in, however figures compiled by the Committee to Protect Journalists show that journalists and reporters are murdered because of their profession.
Also known as “Death Watch” journalists, they are deliberately targeted and murdered either because of their reporting or simply because they are journalists.
The most recent death happened in Virginia recently where a former WDBJ7 employee shot dead a reporter and a cameraman for WDBJ7, a local CBS affiliate, live on air. The shots could be heard on footage taken by the cameraman before he dropped to the ground.
However, what worsens the situation is that many of these murders outside the United States and other Western nations are investigated and in almost 90 percent of cases no one is prosecuted. In other words, impunity is increasing the risks of this profession and media freedom has been decreasing with every shot fired against a journalist and/or reporter.
Despite the agreement that holds each nation responsible to ensure their journalists’ safety and the protection of media freedom, clearly journalists haven’t been acting of safe ground and daily suffer with the “death watch” label.
Not only is this a matter of respect but also of the implementation of legal frameworks to create an environment where not only journalists but any one can practice their profession in peace.