EDITORIAL: Killing the messenger

Keywords: Asia-Pacific, editorial, impunity, killing of journalists, media freedom, press freedom, UNESCO


The statistics globally are chilling. And the Asia-Pacific region bears the brunt of the killing of journalists with impunity disproportionately. Revelations in research published in this edition of Pacific Journalism Review on the trauma experienced by television journalists in the Philippines covering President Rodrigo Duterte’s so-called ‘war on drugs’, or as many describe it, a ‘war on poverty’, with more that 12,000 dead is deeply disturbing (Amnesty International, 2017). While these deaths, allegedly mostly extrajudicial killings, do not relate directly to the murders of journalists, the highest death toll ever of journalists in a mass execution took place in the southern Philippines almost nine years ago.


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Author Biography

David Robie, Pacific Media Centre - AUT

Editor of Pacific Journalism Review and Professor of Communication Studies and Journalism

School of Communication Studies

Auckland University of Technology


Amnesty International. (2017). ‘If you are poor, you are killed’: Extrajudicial executions in the Philippines’ ‘war on drugs’. Retrieved from https://www.amnesty.org/download/Documents/ASA3555172017ENGLISH.PDF

George, C. (2017). Special issue on the safety of journalists. Media Asia, 44(1), 1. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1080/01296612.2017.1394670

Mangahas, M. (2017). Journalism under duress in Asia-Pacific – the seminar. [Video] Auckland University of Technology, 30 November 2017. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ksSzcJc0MnA

Mateo, J. (2015). 6 years later, still no justice in Maguindanao massacre. The Philippine Star. Retrieved from https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2015/11/22/1524946/6-years-later-still-no-justice-maguindanao-massacre

PCIJ. (2016). Year seven after the massacre: Still no justice on sixth year of trial. Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ). Retrieved from http://pcij.org/blog/2016/11/24/year-seven-after-the-massacre-still-no-justice-on-sixth-year-of-trial

UNESCO. (n.d.). International day to end impunity for crimes against journalists. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation. Retrieved from https://en.unesco.org/commemorations/endimpunity

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How to Cite
Robie, D. (2018). EDITORIAL: Killing the messenger. Pacific Journalism Review : Te Koakoa, 24(2), 6-11. https://doi.org/10.24135/pjr.v24i2.464

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