Media Intimidation in 2018: Terror arises among journalists in the world as 2018 marks off myriads of attacks to the media. Is the press really the fourth estate?
In all democratic countries across the globe the freedom of speech and media is a forefront right. However, the work of the journalist since this year and in preceding years has not been devoid of any hindrances. The nitty-gritty of this is that such hindrances ranging from threats to arrests and death of journalists(in some cases) usually occurs during the time of their duty and consequently, exposing these media practitioners to severe risks whilst infringing on their rights.
The international Press institute (IPI) ‘s Death Watch reported that 49 journalists were recorded dead during the first half of 2018: 11 in Afghanistan,inter Alia. This statistics is supported by Washington Report which in concordance asserted that 2018 has been dangerous for journalists.
In Somalia, Following the arrest of a freelance journalist, Ismail Sheikh Nur, over a facebook post deemed critical to the government, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia in September 6, 2018 along side: SIMHA, SOMA, SWJ and MAP media Associations demanded an end to government intimidations on Somalia they posited that such action was against the provisions of International Laws and Basic Human Rights instruments. Extrapolating Article 18 of the Provisional Constitution of Somalia adopted in August 1, 2012, which provides thus:
Recently, the South Africa National Editors Forum(SANEF) lodged a complaint at the Equality Court against the EFF and it’s leader following the desire to halt threats and harassments directed at journalists.
Subsequently,The death of Samal Washtoygi, the said Arabian journalist who went missing in October after he entered the Saudi Arabian Consulate in Istanbul reiterates the media practitioners risks.Annexed to this story is the Nicaragua report of the death of people comprising Civil Societies and the Media Practitioners, during the anti-government protest; this led the United Nations High Commissioner, Mitchell Bachelet, to urge the Nicaraguan government to stop the intimidation against the Media and Civil Society.
In Pakistan,the media resorted to Self -censorship following the impedition especially on journalists who report issues on extremism, religious fundamentalism, or military interference in politics. Notwithstanding the decline in death of journalists, yet the burial of these impedition, arrest and threat of journalists who are critical of authorities incited a decline in Press Freedom leaving shadows of the Self-Censorship stated ab initio.
As aforementioned, 2018 has been marked with immense danger to journalists across various countries of the world while hampering on the Constitutionally and internationally accrued right to Freedom of the Press It is envisioned that precautionary steps be taken to curb these obscene media statistics.