Murder is the ultimate form of censorship. One reporter is killed, and hundreds are sent a message that certain topics are too dangerous to be discussed. Since 1992, more than 500 journalists have been murdered in direct relation to their work, CPJ research shows. While hundreds more have died in combat or other dangerous circumstances, murder is the leading cause of work-related deaths.
Video: CPJ's María Salazar-Ferro describes the scourge of impunityJustice is served in less than 15 percent of these murder cases. Our research suggests that the absence of justice promotes a higher incidence of murder.
Now, with support from the Knight Foundation, CPJ is launching a global campaign to combat impunity. We will focus initially on Russia and the Philippines, two very different countries that share two traits: They are among the world's deadliest nations for journalists, and they are among the worst in solving these crimes.
Video: CNN's Christiane Amanpour discusses impunityCPJ's efforts seek to build on the success of the Miami-based Inter American Press Association (IAPA), which in 1993 launched a campaign against impunity in journalist murders in Latin America. Over this period, the justice rate in Latin America improved markedly, according to CPJ's independent analysis. There are many factors, but IAPA's campaign undoubtedly made a difference.
Please take a few moments to watch the accompanying videos, which outline the implications of impunity and our plans to combat it.
Other links on this page will take you to our special reports on unsolved journalist murders, CPJ's ongoing coverage of the Philippines and Russia, our database and statistical analysis of journalist deaths since 1992, and, perhaps most important, how you can get involved.
We will be tracking progress in the Philippines and Russia in the years ahead and hope to see impunity levels decline in both countries. Concerted action on a global scale and collaboration with our colleagues and supporters, we believe, is a prescription for success. We ask for your help in making this possible.