December 17, 2019 – RSF USA’s analysis of the statistics collected in the 2019 Roundup shows that more journalists were deliberately targeted, murdered, and imprisoned in 2019 than in years previous, particularly those covering corruption, human rights violations, or organized crime. Donald Trump’s hostility towards the independent media is spreading and amplifying already dangerous conditions for journalists worldwide. While the percentage of journalists being killed in war zones has gone down significantly this year, we found that this is due primarily to less reporting from conflict zones due to the high risks involved, as well as better access to safety training and equipment. 

The bottom line? The decline in press freedom at home is spreading across the globe and our weakening commitment to this human right is having consequences for the safety of journalists everywhere.

Numbers to know:

  • 12% increase in journalists detained in relation to their work (389 total).
  • 2% increase in journalists being deliberately targeted and murdered.
  • 59% killed outside of war zones vs. 41% of journalists were killed in war zones. 
  • 44% decrease in the total number of journalists killed (49) compared to last year.
  • Latin America and the Middle East continue to be the most dangerous regions for journalists to work.
  • China doubled the number of journalists it detains, now holding 120, or one-third of all detained journalists worldwide. Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey also remain top jailers of journalists and have seen consistent declines in press freedom. 

The RSF Roundup (read the full report here) is a critical piece of research that provides crucial evidence in advocating for the need for stronger protections for journalists worldwide. Publishing the Roundup would not be possible without the generosity of supporters like you.

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