Report: The United States Is One of the 5 Deadliest Nations For Journalists

By A.J. Katz Comment

The United States is officially now among the 5 deadliest countries for journalists, according to an annual report now out from Reporters Without Borders.

Afghanistan is the dealiest country for journalists in 2018 (15 murders) followed by Syria (11), Mexico (9), followed by India and the U.S. (6 each).

In addition to the 4 Capital Gazette journalists (and a sales assistant) who were killed inside the paper’s Annapolis, Md., offices in June, two other journalists, a local TV anchor and cameraman, were killed by a falling tree while covering Subtropical Storm Alberto’s extreme weather in North Carolina in May, lifting the total journalists murdered to 6 here in the U.S., 2018 to-date.

That figure doesn’t include dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s murder inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct., 2. Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist who had been living in the U.S. under what was self-imposed exile, was at the consulate to get the papers he needed to marry his Turkish fiancée when he was murdered.

Needless to say, 2018 has been a year marked by the number of journalists who were killed in connection with their work. A total of 80 journalists have been killed across the world this year, which is +7 percent from 2017. This number had been declining over the previous three years.

The imprisonment of journalists (348) and hostage-taking (60) also increased in 2018.

According to Reporters Without Borders (RSF) secretary-general Christophe Deloire, journalists have never before been subjected to as much violence and abusive treatment as in 2018.

“Violence against journalists has reached unprecedented levels this year, and the situation is now critical,” Deloire said in a statement. “The hatred of journalists that is voiced, and sometimes very openly proclaimed, by unscrupulous politicians, religious leaders and businessmen has tragic consequences on the ground and has been reflected in this disturbing increase in violations against journalists.”

“Amplified by social networks, which bear heavy responsibility in this regard,” he continued, “these expressions of hatred legitimize violence, thereby undermining journalism, and democracy itself, a bit more every day.

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