Family members of Maldivian journalist Ahmed Rilwan Abdulla are seen in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on August 28, 2018. A presidential commission in the Maldives recently announced that the journalist was killed in 2014. (Reuters/Dinuka Liyanawatte)

CPJ survey finds 70% of female journalists in U.S., Canada have experienced safety issues or threats

September 5, 2019 12:00 PM ET

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This week in the Maldives, there were new developments in the fight for justice in the case of Ahmed Rilwan Abdulla, who has been missing since August 7, 2014. The head of the presidential commission on enforced disappearances and murders told reporters that Rilwan, a reporter for the independent news website Minivan News, was killed by a local Al-Qaeda affiliate in 2014. The commission found he was killed in connection to his writing on alleged Al-Qaeda links in the Maldives and his advocacy for freedom of expression.

It has been five years since American freelance journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff were murdered by Islamic State militants in Syria. Around the anniversaries, CPJ’s latest video explores the aftermath of their deaths and how journalists, news organizations, and press freedom groups have been working to rethink safety practices and resources for reporters.

Global press freedom updates


Artwork: Jack Forbes This week CPJ released a collection of safety resources for female journalists. The package features an analysis of CPJ data from a survey of female and gender non-conforming journalists in the U.S. and Canada, an infographic, and specialized safety advice.

Our survey found that 85% of respondents believe journalists have become less safe in the past five years, and more than 70% have experienced safety issues or threats. The package also includes essays on the dangers for broadcast journalists reporting alone and the need for better solutions to tackling online harassment.

Find more info on the survey and resources here.

This week the One Free Press Coalition released the September list of 10 journalists under threat around the world. The coalition is made up of over 30 media outlets and organizations, including CPJ, working together to bring greater awareness and stand in solidarity with these embattled journalists. This month the list includes investigative journalist Lydia Cacho in Mexico and freelance reporter Erick Kabendera, detained in Tanzania.

What we are reading

So far in 2019

At least 15 journalists have been killed worldwide in relation to their work. Explore our data.

Visit the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker database for info on press freedom violations in the U.S.

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