Around 1,700 journalists have been killed worldwide in the last 20 years. Also, an average of more than 80 journalists are killed every year. This information was revealed in an analysis published by Reporters Without Borders (RSF).
Paris-based media rights campaigners said the two decades, from 2003 to 2022, were “particularly deadly for those working in the service of information rights.”
‘Behind the statistics are the faces, personalities, talents and commitment of those who have given their lives to information gathering, truth-seeking and a passion for journalism,’ said RSF Secretary-General Christophe Delois.
According to the analysis, the most dangerous countries for journalists are Iraq and Syria. A total of 578 journalists have been killed in the two countries in the last 20 years, which is more than a third of the global total.
It is followed by Mexico (125 killed), Philippines (107), Pakistan (93), Afghanistan (81) and Somalia (78). The report also states that 80 percent of media worker deaths occurred in 15 countries. 2012 and 2013 were the darkest years for journalism due to the Syrian war. Because there were 144 murders in 2012 and 142 the following year.
On the other hand, the number of deaths increased again in 2022 due to the war in Ukraine. So far this year, 58 journalists have lost their lives doing their jobs. In 2021, this number was 51 people.
Eight journalists have been killed in Ukraine since Russia launched a full-scale invasion of the country on February 24. After Russia, Ukraine is currently the most dangerous country in Europe for the media. 25 journalists have been killed in the last 20 years in the country.
America remains the deadliest continent for journalists. Reporters are at greatest risk in areas of armed conflict around the world.
But RSF insists, ‘Countries where no war is officially taking place are not necessarily safe for journalists, and some of them top the list of places where killings have taken place. In fact, in most cases, more journalists have been killed in peace zones than in war zones over the past two decades, because they were investigating organized crime and corruption.’
Most of these journalists lost their lives in America. Many journalists have also died while covering the news in Mexico, Brazil, Colombia and Honduras. ‘America is clearly the most dangerous continent in the world for media these days,’ said RSF.