63.8% of People View Journalism More Dangerous Than 10 Years Ago

Safety Team
Updated Jan 28, 2021
1 min read
The latest study conducted by the Safety.com research team has found many people believe that journalism is a far more dangerous job than it was ten years ago.

Fast facts:

  • 63.8% of people surveyed believe that journalism is now “a lot” or “a little” more dangerous than ten years ago.
  • Crimes against and assaults on journalists continue to increase, with 2020 being one of the highest years of recorded attacks. This trend is increasing both domestically [1] and internationally. [2]
  • In the U.S. alone, there have been over 220 physical attacks reported on journalists in 2020 compared to only 30-50 annual totals over the previous four years.[1]
While there are many jobs that people consider dangerous, as of recently, a growing trend has been viewing journalism as an increasingly dangerous job. Between political perception of the media, how accessible a journalist’s personal information is on social media, and how many are routinely forced to put themselves into dangerous situations, it should not come as a surprise that the risk of the job continues to increase. To get a sense of public perception of how dangerous people view the role of journalists, the Safety.com research team took a survey of 1,129 U.S. residents and found an overwhelming majority of people believe the job to be dangerous:

Do you think journalism is a MORE or LESS dangerous job than it was 10 years ago?

% of Response
A lot MORE dangerous
A little MORE dangerous
About the same
A little LESS dangerous
A lot LESS dangerous
Over the last several years, the average number of attacks has been somewhere between 30-50 per year, but in 2020 alone, this number has jumped to over 220 attacks with one month left remaining — setting a record. These numbers are likely misrepresented, too, given that minor attacks and assaults remain unreported to authorities. According to a New York Times op-ed, treatment towards journalists outside the U.S. is even more concerning when governments don’t protect the press. It also is worth mentioning that while physical attacks are one form of reported attacks, many journalists have expressed fear around online and digital attacks. It’s not uncommon for a journalist who writes unfavorably about a prominent political figure to receive all types of threats through email and social media.


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