Why are journalists increasingly becoming a target?

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It’s becoming ever more risky to be a journalist in today’s world.

Two suicide attacks in Afghanistan killed at least nine journalists on Monday. Another journalist was killed later that day in a separate incident. 

The UN has documented the killing of 14 journalists in Afghanistan in 2017 alone. 

But the issue is not unique to that country. Reporters from North Korea to Syria, and Turkey to Eritrea face threats every day. 

According to the World Press Freedom Index, North Korea ranks at the bottom. Norway, Sweden and the Netherlands round up the top three. 

Europe has seen the steepest decline in regional rankings: Malta is now ranked 65th, down by 18 points, and Slovakia 27th, down by 10. 

In both countries, high-profile journalists were recently murdered.

The US has slipped two places to 45th. The report partly blames what it calls violent rhetoric from President Donald Trump.

Myanmar, from where hundreds of thousands of Rohingya fled what the UN has called “ethnic cleansing”, has also slipped. 

It’s now ranked 137th, with the government intensifying arrests and prosecutions of journalists.

Middle East and North Africa has been rated the worst region for journalists. 

Rights groups have reported an unparalleled crackdown on Egypt’s media in recent years. 

Among those in jail is Al Jazeera’s journalist Mahmoud Hussein, who has been in prison for 500 days without charge. 

So, is press freedom under attack?

Presenter: Elizabeth Puranam


Sami Abu Salem – freelance journalist for WAFA National News Agency and member of the Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate 

Benjamin Zawacki – Southeast Asia analyst and human rights advocate   

Christophe Deloire – secretary-general Reporters Without Borders

Source: Al Jazeera News

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