Journalists play a central role in fostering a society based on the open
discussion of facts and the pursuit of the truth, as opposed to one based
on rumor, prejudice, and the naked exercise of power. As a result, journalists
are often literally in the line of fire and deserve special protection.
This article considers the characteristics of deadly attacks on journalists
over the last two decades and examines how the applicable legal and
policy frameworks can be used better or improved to provide a higher
level of protection. Impunity, often a by-product of the politicized nature
of journalistic activities, is seen as the major cause of continuous attacks
on journalists. The conclusion is drawn that one of the key elements of a
strategy to better protect journalists is to “elevate” the issue on a number of
fronts: to move prevention and accountability from the local to the central
level within domestic jurisdictions, while simultaneously heightening the
level of international engagement with this issue.