Document Type

Journal Article


USC Annenberg Press


Faculty of Education and Arts


School of Communication and Arts / Centre for Research in Entertainment, Arts, Technology, Education and Communications




This article was originally published as: Davies, K. H., & Crawford, E. (2013). Legal avenues for ending impunity for the death of journalists in conflict zones: current and proposed international agreements. International Journal of Communication, 7(1), 2157-2177. Original article available here


Every bullet that kills a journalist in a warzone adds passion and urgency to calls for “something” to be done to better protect frontline media workers. International humanitarian law (the body of law that includes the Geneva Conventions) offers some avenues for legal redress, but problems with compliance and policing have contributed to a sense of impunity among perpetrators of these crimes. Consequently, calls for additional laws have reemerged. This article analyzes the current legal protections, examines a proposed new international convention, and discusses obstacles to ending impunity. It also analyzes whether a new convention would be a useful addition to international law and concludes that advocacy energies would be better spent promoting enforcement of existing laws.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.