Nearly half of jailed journalists freelancers: census

Nearly 45 per cent of jailed journalists worldwide are freelancers, according to the Committee To Protect Journalists’ (CPJ) annual census of imprisoned journalists.

The CPJ census found:

“At least 60 freelance journalists are behind bars worldwide, nearly double the number from just three years ago. CPJ research shows the number of jailed freelancers has grown along with two trends: The Internet has enabled individual journalists to publish on their own, and some news organizations, watchful of costs, rely increasingly on freelancers rather than staffers for international coverage. Freelance journalists are especially vulnerable to imprisonment because they often do not have the legal and monetary support that news organizations can provide to staffers.”

According to the CPJ’s reporting, 136 reporters, editors, and photojournalists were behind bars on December 1, an increase of 11 from 2008. The increase was pushed by a crackdown in Iran, where 23 journalists are now in jail.

At 68, bloggers, web-based journalists and online editors now make up half of the total number of journalists in jail.

CPJ Executive Director
Joel Simon said in the special report:

“The days when journalists went off on dangerous assignments knowing
they had the full institutional weight of their media organizations
behind them are receding into history. Today, journalists on the front lines are increasingly
working independently. The rise of online journalism has opened the
door to a new generation of reporters, but it also means they are

Read the full report and detailed information about each jailed journalist here.