Arrests of journalists around the world reached a new high of 293 in 202, up from 280 in 2020. Writes Arlene Getz of Committee to Protect Journalists, December 9, 2021, “Emboldened autocrats are increasingly ignoring due process and flouting international norms to keep themselves in power. In a world preoccupied with COVID-19 and trying to prioritize issues like climate change, repressive governments are clearly aware that public outrage at human rights abuses is blunted and democratic governments have less appetite for political or economic retaliation.”
The U.S. has seen journalists arrested and assaulted in recent years covering important protests, writes Joel Simon of the Committee to Protect Journalists, Los Angeles Times, December 7, 2021. And this year 16 journalists were assaulted by police and three had their equipment and film confiscated. California Governor Gavin Newsom singed a law in October giving journalist unrestricted access to protests and protecting them from assault and interference by police.
The U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced at President Joe Biden’s democracy summit that the U.S. would provide funding to protect journalists and their news outlets facing litigation for their reporting. (CNN, December 8, 2021, by Michael Conte)