World Press Freedom Day: 54 attacks on journalists in 16 months, says report

New Delhi, Hindustan Times | By
May 03, 2017 12:40 AM IST

The report says the actual number is probably much more, since the minister of state for home affairs informed Parliament that there were 142 journalist deaths during 2014-15.

In the past 16 months, 54 attacks on journalists were reported in the media, says a compilation on press freedom by a media watchdog, The Hoot; indicating the dangers to investigative journalism.

Most of the 54 attacks were carried out by the police and mob resisting or protesting media coverage.(Shutterstock)
Most of the 54 attacks were carried out by the police and mob resisting or protesting media coverage.(Shutterstock)

Released on Tuesday, a day ahead of the World Press Freedom Day on May 3, the report says the actual number is probably much more, since the minister of state for home affairs Gangaram Ahir informed Parliament that there were 142 journalist deaths during 2014-15.

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The report shows shrinking press freedom comes close on the heels of the World Press Freedom Index published by Reporters Without Borders, which has put India at 136th place, three places down from previous year.

The report says though seven journalists were killed, “reasonable evidence of their journalism being the motive for the murder” is available only in one case.

Read: Reporting under duress: Journalists in India work amid increasing danger

What is more gripping is that most of the 54 attacks were carried out by the police and mob resisting or protesting media coverage (9 each) followed by politicians and their supporters (8).

“The stories behind each of the attacks reveal a clear and persistent pattern. Investigative reporting is becoming increasingly dangerous. Journalists who venture out into the field to investigate any story... are under attack,” the report says.

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