In May 2019, WIRED has joined the One Free Press Coalition, a united group of leading editors and publishers using their global reach and social platforms to shine a light on journalists under attack around the world. Today, the coalition is releasing its 25th monthly list of the “10 most urgent” journalists whose press freedom is suppressed or whose cases demand justice. This iteration focuses on women in anticipation of International Women’s Day on March 8.
In an industry long dominated by men, more and more women journalists around the world are telling important stories and reporting the news for their communities. These courageous journalists face a unique set of challenges and threats. Over 70% have experienced more than one type of harassment, threat or attack in the course of their work, according to a 2018 report published by the International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF) and online threat monitor Trollbusters. Given the social stigma associated with gender-based violence, many women may choose not to report incidents or to leave the profession.
Six of the women on the list this month are behind bars and 13% of all journalists jailed in 2020 were women. One of the journalists on the list this month was murdered in connection with her reporting, and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has documented 70 female journalists murdered since 1992. At least one of the cases on this list has been subject to some form of online harassment, a problem endemic to industry. Beat wise, the journalists on this list cover a wide range of issues and stories, but politics remains one of the most dangerous for journalists around the world, according to CPJ research.
1. Tal al-Mallohi (Syria)
The Syrian journalist, currently detained without charge, has spent more than ten years in total behind bars. She is being held on the orders of a security adviser to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
6. Frenchie Mae Cumpio (Philippines)
The web journalist and radio presenter, who covers alleged police and military abuse, has been detained for a year and could face a prison sentence of 6 to 12 years.
7. Anastasia mejia (Guatemala)
An indigenous journalist was arrested for broadcasting – and accused of participating in – a demonstration against a local official. Her home was searched the same day and she was remanded in custody for over a month.
9. he said Neha (India)
A freelance journalist recently suffered an attempted break-in, criminal harassment and months of threatening phone calls including death threats and references to her journalism, as well as an ongoing defamation case.