This month I stand down as Chair of INSI after nearly five years – and many more having been involved with or supporting the organisation. It provides some perspective.
INSI is a charity focused on safety and the prevention of harm to journalists and media workers around the world. It is supported by news organisations seeking to look after their staff and freelancers and to that extent is focused very much on real-time, in-the-field journalism.
But to really understand the current risks to journalists – and to journalism – we need to take a more strategic view. The safety of journalists has wide social and political importance as well. And if we are to tackle the corrosive issue of impunity for those who kill journalists, that social and political link needs to be recognised and pursued.
Civil society relies upon information to provide citizens with the opportunity to build political representation, grow economic capacity, improve public health and education and strengthen the quality of life. In providing that information, journalism can oversee the formation and implementation of policy and shine a light on corruption, human rights abuses or poor governance.