A note from the guest editors (Safety of Journalists)

Andrea Jean Baker, Colleen Murrell, Fiona Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialOtherpeer-review


The safety of journalists has been an ongoing issue since at least the 1800s, when Scottish philosopher Thomas Carlyle first awarded journalists the moral and intellectual identity of the fourth estate, operating as a political power distinct from the clergy, the nobility and the commoners, and charged them with helping to maintain democratic process. That role was always going to be contentious and dangerous, but never more so than now. As former jailed Al Jazeera journalist
Peter Greste notes in his introduction to this section, press freedom is under threat everywhere, as journalists are increasingly assassinated, kidnapped, jailed and terrorised in conflict and nonconflict zones. Giving statistics and examples from different dangerous locales – Latin America, the most deadly region in the world outside current war zones; Myanmar, where two Reuters reporters were jailed for seven years for violating the Official Secrets Act; and Turkey, which
witnessed the brutal killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi by operatives from his own government, trying to silence his criticism – Greste argues that there is no apparent culture of safety in journalism which would suggest the profession is strategically acting to address these threats.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-8
Number of pages4
JournalAustralian Journalism Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2018


  • safety of journalists
  • middle east
  • gender and media
  • Freedom of speech

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