Journalists play a central role in fostering a society based on the open discussion of facts and the pursuit of the truth, as opposed to one based on rumor, prejudice, and the naked exercise of power. As a result, journalists are often literally in the line of fire and deserve special protection. This article considers the characteristics of deadly attacks on journalists over the last two decades and examines how the applicable legal and policy frameworks can be used better or improved to provide a higher level of protection. Impunity, often a by-product of the politicized nature of journalistic activities, is seen as the major cause of continuous attacks on journalists. The conclusion is drawn that one of the key elements of a strategy to better protect journalists is to "elevate" the issue on a number of fronts: to move prevention and accountability from the local to the central level within domestic jurisdictions, while simultaneously heightening the level of international engagement with this issue.
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