Media watchdog: Threats against independent journalists ‘at epidemic levels’

Media watchdog: Threats against independent journalists ‘at epidemic levels’
© Greg Nash

The world's largest organization of journalists this week issued a dire report on the threats faced by journalists around the world in 2017. 

The International Federation of Journalists's (IFJ) end-of-year report, which was obtained by The Associated Press, found that “unprecedented numbers of journalists were jailed, forced to flee, that self-censorship was widespread and that impunity for the killings, harassment, attacks and threats against independent journalism was running at epidemic levels.”

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The report also found that a minimum of 81 journalists were killed while working in 2017, and over 250 journalists were jailed over the year. 

Eight women journalists lost their lives doing their jobs, including Kim Wall in Denmark and Daphne Caruana Galizia in Malta. 

The majority of press killings took place in Mexico, Afganistan, Iraq and Syria, according to the report. 

However, IFJ found that the number of journalist deaths, at 81, was the lowest in 10 years. 

Ninety-three journalists were killed in 2016, according to the organization.