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In the last few years one of the oldest professions has drastically changed, but the skeletal structure of the career remains the same. Immersive storytelling and fact-based journalism are still its strongest pillars. Embedded journalism is always been a risky job but most journalist don’t just get caught in crossfire. Many of these killings happen in countries with no armed conflicts. India is third most dangerous place to be a journalist. Since 1992, in India the journalist death is accounted for by the Committee to Protect Journalist (CPJ), a nonprofit organisation that campaigns for the right of journalists to report the news without fear of reprise.
Their report says that in 26 years there have been 48 deaths on line of duty in India out of which 33 were premeditated murders.
This assassination of journalists not only kills the person and breaks the families but it leaves a lasting mark on society and speaks volume of the times we live in. This raises a question of how political parties oppress freedom of expression by silencing professionals who aim to be the voice of reason in society.
All over the world, journalism is a medium from which people gets to know about the competent news. Whenever a journalist is killed the states drives into tension and instability which creates a situation to reflect the development of democracy.
In India, it is easy to target journalists as press freedom remains an issue. They received threats and some were shot dead without warning while informing the nation about freedom of expression.
These targets are mostly from the beat of politics which they are working on. According to CPJ’s 2016 report on India, half of the journalist who got killed are from politics which is 50 percent and corruption is 43, other beats like crime is 25 percent, culture 23 percent, business 23 percent, human rights 20 percent and war is 5 percent. In India, writing truth is impossible without getting in to hatred and becoming a target of violence. There are uninformed perpetrators behind these killings which are hardly identified. The study will examine the death of the journalists from 1992-2018 and the involvement of the politics which is a danger to democracy. It will also study about the change in pattern of death of journalists throughout the years and the type of work the journalists were doing at the time of the attack.
It will be examined in-depth by finding the major people behind this incident and reasons of killing. If someone is not accused then where the case is right now and how many cases are convicted. The researcher is planning to study the CPJ’s role and their responsibility to bring justice to the journalists who are killed. The objective of this study is to understand how politics and society are oppressing the freedom of expression by killing them in India. The researcher plans to work on primary and secondary sources by taking the case studies of individual journalist from 1992 to 2018 and explaining them thoroughly from the different aspects. There will be quantitative analysis from different news articles, books, magazines and various reports by UNSECO, Reporters without borders (RSF) and International Press Institute (I.P.I). There will be ground reporting which will be professors, experts, journalists who are criticizing government and putting their life into danger. The researcher is yet to finalise an interview.
The idea is to find the backstory and the reasons why these journalists were killed. This study is to understand the fear and the freedom of a journalist while reporting a story. The watchdog groups of journalism have warn that the statistics of years worrying that in the world journalists are facing problems and they are constantly living in a threat. The world leaders disparaging the media, calling journalist as an enemy of people and at some places reporters are being labeled as terrorist due to this there is a political repression on journalist to proceed with legal cases. In India, the government is propagating Hindutva agenda which is been highly criticized by experts. This is leading the country to media censorship which is growing in the mainstream media and journalists are being easy target to threat the press freedom. In 2017, three of the journalists were targeted in connection of their work. On September 5, 2017, Gauri Lankesh, journalist and activist known for being a critic of right-wing Hindu extremism was killed by after she became a target of hate campaign on social media.
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