Rising numbers of European journalists are facing dangerous physical attacks as they try to cover news stories, according to recent reports. Data from the Council of Europe safety of journalists platform shows that physical attacks on journalists more than doubled between 2019 and 2021 – with 33 attacks being recorded in 2019 compared to 51 in 2020 and 76 in 2021.
One emerging trend identified by the Council of Europe research, and other sources, are attacks on journalists covering protests of anti-lockdown demonstrations and reporting on breaches of lockdown measures.
Details of journalists being attacked while covering anti-vaccination and anti-lockdown protests is showing up in reports from a variety of sources in Europe and beyond. This is sending a worrying signal about media freedom and the security of journalists.