What price does a journalist pay for a story? In the past decade, 700 paid with their lives. Many more face death threats, violent assaults, exile or years in prison because of their work.

“Journalists get caught up in the crossfire,” said Courtney Radsch, a director at the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). “They are on the frontlines.”

In these cases, justice rarely prevails. CPJ found that 90 percent of crimes against journalists result in no arrest, prosecution, or conviction.

You pay too. A journalist who fears for her life might choose not to report wrongdoing, and leave criminals and corrupt leaders unchecked. Political repression and other human rights violations are more likely where journalists can’t expose them. As U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis once wrote, “Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants.”

Woman with mouth taped shut (AP Images)
A journalist tapes over her mouth to show solidarity with detained journalists. (AP Images)

“No journalist anywhere should have to risk their life to report the news,” says U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. The United Nations has proclaimed November 2 the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists. The date recognizes the murder of French journalists Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon by militants in Mali on November 2, 2013. The U.N. also has released an action plan to create a free and safe environment for journalists and media workers.

Learn more about the dangers many journalists face