Two grim anniversaries demonstrate how journalists around the world increasingly face violence, but leaders—including President Biden—have been slow to act

By Andy Lee Roth, Project Censored

Violence is the most basic and blunt form of press censorship. To kill or imprison a journalist is to silence the public’s source of news. To date, 33 journalists around the world have been killed this year and another 494 are currently imprisoned, according to Reporters Without Borders (RSF). Put another way, thus far in 2022, on average, once per week somewhere in the world a journalist is killed for reporting the news.

Humanitarian activists hold a poster with a picture of Jamal Khashoggi demonstrating in Makassar. Jamal Khashoggi, a journalist who was killed in Turkey

Sometimes these cases make headlines, as was true in October 2018 when Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi Arabian journalist who reported for the Middle East Eye and the Washington Post, was murdered by agents of the Saudi government, and in May 2022 when Palestinian American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was killed—almost certainly by Israeli soldiers—in the occupied West Bank while reporting for Al Jazeera.

More often, however, the killing or imprisonment of journalists occurs without significant news coverage. As Project Censored has previously reported, attacks on journalists are a global phenomenon, which the establishment press in the United States often fails to cover adequately. Journalists working in the United States are not immune to violent assault or arrest either, as the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker meticulously documents.

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