Syria, Mexico deadliest countries for journalists in 2019

At least 25 journalists killed in 2019

Photo - Anadolu Agency
Photo - Anadolu Agency

The number of journalists killed in the line of duty fell in 2019 to the lowest level in 17 years. As dangerous regional conflicts stabilized, the number of journalists murdered in reprisal for their reporting was the lowest since the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) began keeping track in 1992, according to its annual analysis. The numbers represent those killed between 1 January and 13 December 2019.

At least 25 journalists were killed in 2019, the lowest figure since 2002, when at least 21 journalists were killed because of their work. Nearly half of the journalists on the list this year were killed in Syria and Mexico, with seven and five cases, respectively. Deaths in Syria, where at least 134 journalists have been killed in the war, have declined since a high of 31 in 2012. CPJ’s Emergencies Response team has been actively providing practical safety advice and assisting journalists in distress in the country.

CPJ found that the number of journalists singled out for murder, at least 10, is the smallest in its annual records, which date back to 1992. The global decline comes amid unprecedented global attention on the issue of impunity in journalist murders, due largely to recent high-profile cases that continue to reverberate, including Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and investigative reporter Daphne Caruana Galizia in Malta. CPJ has continuously advocated for accountability in both cases, by keeping the pressure on authorities in Malta to seek justice for Caruana Galizia and through the #JusticeForJamal campaign.

“The decline in the number of journalists killed is welcome after years of escalating violence and reinforces our determination to fight impunity and do all we can to keep journalists safe,” said Joel Simon, CPJ’s executive director. “It should not be cause for complacency. The grim reality is that the enemies of press freedom have many tools at their disposal, including imprisonment, legal threats, online harassment, and increasingly sophisticated surveillance technology.”

The report notes that it is impossible to determine whether the high-profile nature of the murders Khashoggi and Caruana Galizia – and their consequences – have deterred any would-be killers. One place where efforts to combat impunity seemingly have had no effect is Mexico, where half of this year’s murders took place. CPJ has long sought to combat impunity in Mexico, and in June, held a press freedom summit in Mexico City to discuss solutions to the crisis, calling for President Andrés Manuel López Obrador to make press freedom a priority.

CPJ’s database of journalists killed in 2019 includes capsule reports on each victim and filters for examining trends in the data. CPJ considers a case work-related only when its staff is reasonably certain that a journalist was killed in direct reprisal for his or her work, in combat-related crossfire, or while carrying out a dangerous assignment.

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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