The World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) called for greater protections for journalists, and for journalists’ safety to be given higher priority by governments, international institutions, and the media industry itself.

WAN-IFRA agreed and passed this resolution during its 67th World News Media Congress, 22nd World Editors Forum and 25th World Advertising Forum held on May 31, in Washington D.C. The Board of WAN-IFRA highlighted the necessity for calling on governments, international institutions and the media industry itself to priorities journalists’ safety and has denounced the state of impunity that surrounds the murder of journalists in many parts of the world.

The WAN-IFRA also noted with dismay that at least 1127 journalists have been killed in the line of duty since 1992. They also noted at the sessions that over 50 percent of these deaths involved journalists working in print media, and that in the vast majority of instances, those killed were local journalists.

The board further denounces the impunity that surrounds the murder of journalists and urges stronger multilateral efforts to punish those who target journalists as a means of deterrent against future crimes. In more than 90 per cent of cases, no one is brought to justice.

Stressing the barriers and dangers on the journalist’s path, they call on governments worldwide to actively support the United Nations Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity. Equally, the Board encourages media support organizations to work more closely with media companies to address the gaps in training, equipment and expertise that could contribute to reducing dangers.

Greater solidarity within the news industry to propose solutions that improve safety and protection for all journalists, and to work together to support media professionals working in unstable and unsafe environments as a means of strengthening press freedom worldwide are the other issues which had been taken at the WAN-IFRA.