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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at KCL chapter.

The occupational perils of journalists have reached a boiling point in recent years. In the midst of growing authoritarian regimes, lack of transparency, and international qualms, the search for truth has never been more needed. Yet, the striking death rates attributed to journalists indicate that those who are tasked with relaying vital information to us are in the most dangerous of situations.

The International Federation of Journalists’ (IFJ) ‘White Paper on Global Journalism’ provides an insight into the truly detrimental position that many journalists face. Many believed that the IFJ’s 1990’s records of 40 media workers’ deaths would amount to ‘a blip’. However, as proven by the ‘2,658 killed in [the] thirty years’, ‘about two journalists or media workers’ are ‘killed every week’. Following this trend, in 2019 Mexico fostered the largest number of journalist deaths. In 2020 alone, 42 journalists were killed and 235 were imprisoned. Most of these deaths occur in regions that are rife with political turmoil. Yet, these are the regions which require the most exposure and media attention.

The coverage of fallen journalists has increased in recent years, shedding a light on opposers of freedom of speech and sustained breaches of humanitarian law. Victims include Jamal Khashoggi (in Istanbul, Turkey in 2018), Edney Menezes (in Mato Grosso, Brazil in 2020), and Hodan Nalayeh (in Kismayo, Somalia in 2019). These are only a few names of those whose search for truth and revelations were hindered by unlawful, brutal intervention.

The role of journalists in informing us about different realities, in raising the level of academic debate, and in helping us make our own informed decisions cannot be overlooked. Their work feeds directly into our constitution and shapes who we are. Information is, indeed, a privilege. But the price paid by those who retrieve it is shockingly high. Every effort, such as King’s College London’s own Media Freedom Project, is vital and necessary to protect the integrity of free speech and those who provide it to us.

Law student, avid writer, and all-round opinionated. Keenly interested in charity work, the world of literature, and creativity, this account will be dedicated towards creating articles filled with stories, statements, and views.