2022 most dangerous year for journalists worldwide

Committee to Protect Journalists ranks Iran, China, Myanmar, Turkey and Belarus as this year's top jailers of journalists

Protesters hold signs depicting Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, who was killed in the West Bank earlier this year. AP
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A record number of journalists and news reporters were jailed or killed this year, reports from two journalism organisations showed this week.

The Committee to Protect Journalists said 363 journalists had been jailed as of December 1 — a record and 20 per cent higher than the record set last year in “another grim milestone in a deteriorating media landscape”.

The group ranked Iran, China, Myanmar, Turkey and Belarus ranked as the top five jailers of journalists in 2022.

Dozens of journalists have been arrested during Iran's crackdown on protests stemming from a young woman's death in morality police custody.

“This year’s prison census brings into sharp relief the lengths governments will go to silence reporting that seeks to hold power to account,” the group's president, Jodie Ginsberg, said in a statement.

“Criminalising journalism has impacts far beyond the individual in jail; it stifles vital reporting that helps keep the public safe, informed and empowered.”

Paris-based Reporters Without Borders says there are 533 journalists currently detained worldwide, a 13 per cent increase from a record set last year. Its count includes non-professional journalists and media workers.

“This record in the number of detained journalists confirms the pressing and urgent need to resist these unscrupulous governments and to extend our active solidarity to all those who embody the ideal of journalistic freedom, independence and pluralism,” the group's secretary general, Christophe Deloire, said in a statement.

Journalists were knocked to the ground as riot police forces clashed with participants in an unauthorised march in Istanbul earlier this year. AFP

The group reported that there is a record number of women journalists in detention, with 78 currently held, representing 15 per cent of the total number of people detained — a sharp rise from less than 7 per cent five years ago.

Reporters Without Borders found that 57 journalists have been killed so far this year, an 18 per cent increase from 2021, with most deaths reported during Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Sixty-five journalists are currently being held hostage and 49 others are missing, the group added.

Updated: December 14, 2022, 6:47 PM