Dangerous craft. 1,500 journalists killed in 30 years

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The news list mapped out these deaths.

Freedom of the press is threatened not only by political, economic, legal or socio-cultural actions, but also by physical attacks against journalists. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), 1,442 journalists have been killed for their work in the past 30 years. A further 589 cases are being investigated by the organization on suspicion of death related to its journalistic work.

By far the most dangerous places for the art of journalism have long been Iraq, Syria, India, as well as Colombia and Russia. Not only men are killed; One in every fifteen deaths affects women.

how to read map

The map shows all the places where work-related deaths of journalists have been confirmed, according to CPJ. Playback in time can be stopped at any time.

Each dot represents the death of a journalist. Click on the selected point to see the details.

The map can be zoomed in or out again with the + and – buttons.

Murder of journalists also affects Europe

Closest to us is Slovakia, where journalist Ján Kuciak was killed in 2018. His fiancee, Martin, also paid the price with his life for the work he did. Also, Slovakia keeps track of two journalists who disappeared without a trace in 2008 and 2015.

Looking at other European countries, France is riskier for journalists, with nine people killed in the last 30 years, most of them attacks on Charlie Hebdo. Journalists were also killed in Poland and the Baltic states, Belarus, Ukraine, Ireland, Spain, Malta, Greece, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Deaths are more common in the Balkans.

very dangerous areas

During the same period, most journalists were killed for their work in Iraq (112 out of 190 victims), the Philippines (86 out of 88), and Mexico (60 out of 64).

In the Philippines’ Maguinando Province, the “largest massacre of journalists in history” took place in 2009, as Reporters Without Borders called the event. In order to register a local politician for the election, a group of about 100 people ambushed the convoy going to the provincial election commission headquarters. Later, 58 victims were found in the mass graves, 32 of which were journalists participating in the convoy.

In Mexico, on average, more than three journalists a year have been killed in the 18 years since the first case was recorded in the CPJ database. Reporters Without Borders describes the situation as follows: “Journalists covering particularly sensitive political issues or crimes at the local level are warned, threatened, and often shot in cold blood.”

“Others are abducted and never seen again or flee abroad, it’s the only way to survive,” they added in this year’s assessment of press freedom in the country.

Risk in democratic countries

“What is now a concern for press freedom is not just a risk to journalists in war zones. CPJ President Jodie Ginsberg commented on the current state of CNN.

According to Ginsberg, there are a few worrying facts. “Journalists seem to be the target of attacks, especially in Ukraine, which is new. Having the word PRESS on your back or chest was often a form of protection. There is now a fear that you will become a real target,” he explained.

Reporters Without Borders also monitors cases where the Russian military bombed or otherwise attacked journalists. During the last 71 days of the war, they recorded 37 incidents, including the bombing of cars marked “PRESS”, the kidnapping of journalists, and the intervention of television towers.

The most dangerous thing for journalists is when they focus on politics. Of the nearly 1,500 journalists killed, more than half dealt with political issues. Many were also in war zones (44%). More than a fifth focused on human rights.

At the same time, CPJ observes an increasing threat to journalists outside the war zone. “This year, CPJ has confirmed that only three journalists have been killed in Mexico. And the total number could be higher – it could be seven, which would put the situation in Mexico on par with that in Ukraine. In a democratic country that is not at war, this is unthinkable. local journalists reporting on issues and killed for their work,” added the head of the organization.

CPJ database

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) regularly publishes in its database the number of journalists who have died in connection with the performance of their work. They have been holding records since 1992.

If CPJ manages to confirm that a journalist was killed in direct connection with his work, it divides these cases into three categories based on cause of death:

  • Murder (premeditated or spontaneous, targeted killing of a journalist in connection with his work)
  • crossfire / war (journalist killed on the battlefield or in another gunfight)
  • dangerous entrance (Journalist killed in crowds due to demonstrations, riots, clashes between hostile groups, including missions that were not initially expected to be risky, but unexpectedly turned violent)

If it’s unclear whether the journalist’s death was related to the performance of his job, but there is a reasonable doubt, CPJ will place these cases in the “unconfirmed cause” category and investigate further.

While journalists covering war conflicts are at greater risk, more journalists are killed for their work. According to CPJ data, 64 percent of cases were killed, while 22 percent died in battlefield reports.

“The overall death toll for journalists has dropped to 32 compared to 2020, while the number of confirmed retaliatory killings has remained roughly the same, indicating that journalists are still considered a target,” CPJ said in a statement last year. Said.

Mexico and India proved to be the most dangerous countries for journalists in 2021. According to CPJ, four journalists were killed in each of these countries.

Only 19 percent of murders committed in the last decade were convicted

No one has been convicted for most of the murders of journalists (81%) in the last ten years. Based on this data, CPJ compiles the so-called Global Impunity Index, which it wants to point out in which states have not been convicted of perpetrators of journalist murders.

Somalia is at its worst. “The index has not changed much from the previous year. Syria, Iraq and South Sudan again lagged behind Somalia at the top of the list as conflicts, political instability and weak judicial mechanisms continue a cycle of violence against journalists,” he said.

Only countries with at least five unsolved murders of journalists were included in the index. The ranking is then based on a recalculation of the murders of journalists with impunity per capita.

Most of the missing journalists are in Mexico

Currently, nearly 70 journalists are missing. Most of the journalists disappeared during their work in Mexico (15), Syria (10), Iraq (9) and Russia (7).

The longest missing journalist in the CPJ database (nearly 40 years old) is Iranian photographer Kazem Akhavan, who disappeared in July 1982 in Lebanon along with three officials from the Iranian embassy.

Source: Seznam Zpravy

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