Home › Forums › WORLD SECURITY AND NEWS FORUM › The year of reporting dangerously — 66 journalists and media workers killed in 2022
- This topic is empty.
Viewing 1 post (of 1 total)
2023-01-02 at 17:49 #387897Nat QuinnKeymaster
International Press Institute (IPI) research reflects that 66 journalists and media workers were killed in 2022. In many cases, investigations into journalists’ killings stall because of a lack of political will, as the truth might implicate those in power or bring corrupt systems to a fall.
The past year has seen the highest number of journalists and media workers killed globally since 2018. International Press Institute (IPI) research reflects that 66 journalists and media workers were killed in 2022, a steep increase from the 45 journalists killed in 2021, 49 in 2020 and 51 in 2019.
Leading factors included the Russian invasion of Ukraine, where eight journalists and media workers, including Ukrainian and foreign reporters were killed in the line of duty or because of their journalistic profession. The IPI report states that up to four more Ukrainian journalists and media workers may have been killed by Russian troops in connection with their profession but these cases are unverified.
Many of the journalists were killed while covering the war on the front lines. Under international law, deliberately targeting journalists working in a conflict zone constitutes a war crime.
“This year has again demonstrated the critical and dangerous role of journalists covering wars. Without them, we would only hear from the military,” says IPI executive director Frane Maroević.
Globally, there were 39 targeted killings of journalists in 2022, meaning they were murdered due to their work. Seven journalists were killed while covering armed conflicts, two were killed while covering civil unrest, and two lost their lives while on assignment. In the remaining cases, the circumstances and motives behind the killings remain unconfirmed, but work-related killings could not be ruled out.
A picture of killed Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko with a flower placed to pay last tribute to him on the pavement of the Grand Moskvorestsky bridge, on the spot where Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov was shot dead, near the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, 30 May 2018. (Photo: EPA-EFE / YURI KOCHETKOV)
Journalists protest against the death of Al Jazeera correspondent Shireen Abu Akleh in front of the Israel consulate, in Istanbul, Turkey, 12 May 2022. (Photo: EPA-EFE / SEDAT SUNA)
Relatives of victims accompanied by a private prosecutor hold a press conference after the promulgation of the Maguindanao Massacre case in Taguig City, Philippines, 19 December 2019. (Photo: EPA-EFE / ROLEX DELA PENA)
Visit Daily Maverick’s home page for more news, analysis and investigations
The deadliest place for journalists: Mexico
Fourteen journalists were killed in Mexico in the deadliest year for the country’s media since 2017. Those reporting on corruption, local politics and organised crime seem to be most at risk. The high number of deaths is in addition to 15 cases of missing journalists in Mexico, as documented by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).
Natalie Southwick, CPJ’s programme coordinator for Latin America, says Mexico consistently features on CPJ’s Global Impunity Index, which highlights countries where journalists are murdered and their killers go free.
“As a result of the spiralling violence and impunity, entire regions of the country have now become so-called silenced zones, where journalists are no longer able to do meaningful critical or investigative reporting,” she says.
Journalists hold photos of killed Mexican journalist Javier Valdez during a protest at the Independence Monument in Mexico City, Mexico, 16 May 2017. (Photo: EPA / MARIO GUZMAN)
Journalist and writer Elena Poniatowska participates in a journalists’ protest for justice in recent attacks on journalists in Mexico City, Mexico, 15 June 2017. (Photo: EPA / SASHENKA GUTIERREZ)
Journalists, friends and relatives of the journalist Heber Lopez demand justice for his murder on 10 February 2022 and to demand security in the face of the wave of murders of other journalists, in Salina Cruz, Oaxaca state, Mexico, 17 February 2022. (Photo: EPA-EFE / Luis Villalobos)
Media members protested after the murder of journalist Antonio de la Cruz, in Victoria City, Tamaulipas, Mexico, 30 June 2022. (Photo: EPA-EFE / Alfredo Pena)
The CPJ reports that although Mexico’s Federal Mechanism for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists provides dozens of protective measures, including camera systems, bulletproof vehicles, panic buttons, police protection and the relocation of journalists at extreme risk of violence, the system is inundated with problems including poor training, insufficient staff and resources and inadequate coordination with state authorities. The shortcomings mean that while the protection exists on paper, it is woefully inadequate in reality, as borne out by the murder of journalist Lourdes Maldonado in January while she was under the protection programme.
The IPI notes that Mexican President Andrés Manuel Lopéz Obrador has become known for his verbal attacks on journalists and, in February, he aggressively rejected a resolution by the European Parliament condemning the rise of violence against the press in Mexico.
“The horrific slaughter of journalists in Mexico shows that the criminals are in control, as they can act with impunity,” says IPI executive director Frane Maroević. “The Mexican government has to act now to protect journalists who are risking their lives and to reinstate the rule of law, ensuring justice for those who were killed.”
In Haiti, gang violence and political unrest were key factors in the deaths of eight journalists. At least two journalists, Amady Wesley and Wilguens Louissaint, were burned alive by gang members on the outskirts of Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince.
In many cases, investigations into journalists’ killings stall because of a lack of political will, as the truth might implicate those in power or bring corrupt systems to a fall. Impunity has a chilling effect on press freedom, weakening democracy, preventing journalists from reporting on certain topics, and encouraging more violence towards the media.
“It is outrageous that journalists are killed because they are bringing us information that someone wants to hide. It is unacceptable that families are losing their loved ones and that the public is denied information simply because someone wants to hide the information, because someone is killing the messengers,” Maroević concludes.
The year of reporting dangerously — 66 journalists and… (dailymaverick.co.za)
Viewing 1 post (of 1 total)
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.