International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists is recognised on 2 November each year.
Truth never dies
UN Secretary-General António Guterres said “Truth never dies” speaking about the fundamental right of freedom of expression. In an age when it would be easy to believe that ‘fake news’ is ubiquitous, it is a claim that might appear to be under siege.
The recent killing of Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul perhaps highlights most starkly the danger journalists face when they attempt to uphold the principle of a free press independent from national government, but the death of Khashoggi is not an isolated incident.
Since 2006, over 1000 journalists have been killed around the world and, except in a few cases, their killers have been seldom brought to justice.
Indeed, the significance of the date 2 November to mark the UN International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists commemorates the date in 2013 when two journalists for French radio station RFI, Claude Verlon and Ghislaine Dupont, were murdered in the northern town of Kidal in Mali.
While American journalist Marie Colvin remains perhaps the most high-profile journalistic casualty of the Syrian Civil War, she is only one of hundreds of professional news reporters, foreign correspondents and citizen journalists who have died in Syria since the start of the fighting in 2011.
Marie’s life as a war correspondent, and her death in Homs in 2012, are recorded in a recent documentary by Christopher Martin called Under the Wire.
Interested in studying journalism?
The MA International Journalism course at SOAS University of London examines the changing face of journalism in today’s mediated world, from the greater inclusivity occasioned by social media supporting a range of progressive aims, such as advocacy, peace, development and intercultural understanding, to the pressures faced by traditional mainstream journalism dealing with speeded-up journalistic practices across an increasingly widening array of delivery platforms.
Find out more
- António Guterres talking about human rights on a visit to SOAS
- Freedom of speech at SOAS: thoughts from the scholars
- Freedom of speech: What does it mean?
- SOAS Director says free speech not under threat on UK campuses