World Press Freedom Day: More Imprisoned Journalists than Ever Before

The amount of journalists that are being detained without a legitimate reason is increasing overall, according to the 2023 Index.

Today marks the 30th anniversary of World Press Freedom Day, and the annual census shows that more journalists were imprisoned at the end of 2022 than in any of the previous 30 years.

As of 1st December 2022, there were 363 imprisoned journalists worldwide. The latest World Press Freedom Index – which evaluates the environment for journalism in 180 countries and territories and is published on World Press Freedom Day each year – suggests that the situation is “very serious” in 31 countries, “difficult” in 42, “problematic” in 55, and “good” or “satisfactory” in 52 countries. 

According to Reporters Without Borders, the 2023 Index…”spotlights the rapid effects that the digital ecosystem’s fake content industry has had on press freedom. In 118 countries (two-thirds of the 180 countries evaluated by the Index), most of the Index questionnaire’s respondents reported that political actors in their countries were often or systematically involved in massive disinformation or propaganda campaigns. The difference is being blurred between true and false, real and artificial, facts and artifices, jeopardising the right to information. The unprecedented ability to tamper with content is being used to undermine those who embody quality journalism and weaken journalism itself.

We encourage you to support the work of Free Press Unlimited, an organisation that is active in more than 50 countries. You can find out more about its work, and how to support it, here.

Studies have shown that women journalists are targeted online significantly more than their male colleagues. Free Press Unlimited, together with the Kingdom of the Netherlands and Human Rights in the Picture, has launched an exhibition that tells these women’s stories.

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