Thursday, December 31, 2015

CPJ: 69 Journalists Died on Job in 2015

Photograph: Marco Ugarte/AP

Sixty-nine journalists were killed around the world on the job in 2015. Twenty-eight of them were slain by Islamic militant groups, including al-Qaeda and ISIS, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

The New York-based organization says Syria again was the deadliest place for journalists, though the number of deaths there in 2015 — 13 — was lower than in previous years of the conflict.

“These journalists are the most vulnerable,” Joel Simon, the committee’s executive director said of reporters and broadcasters working in Syria and other areas inundated with Islamic extremists. “This is, clearly based on the data, an incredible risk for journalists.”

Those killed by Islamic extremist groups this year included eight journalists killed in an attack in Paris in January at the office of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, which had published caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad. The group al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula claimed responsibility for the attack in which two gunmen massacred 12 people. They said it was in “revenge for the prophet.”

In October, two Syrian journalists, Fares Hamadi and Ibrahim Abd al-Qader were killed by ISIS militants.

While some of the deaths were among reporters covering conflict zones, journalists in several countries also were killed after reporting on sensitive subjects. At least 28 of the reporters who were killed had received threats before their deaths, the Committee to Protect Journalists said.

In Brazil, Gleydson Carvalho, a radio broadcaster who often criticized local police and politicians for purported wrongdoing, was shot and killed while presenting his afternoon radio show in August. The committee tracked six killings in Brazil this year — the highest it has recorded there.

Among the 69 journalists killed were reporter Alison Parker and videojournalist Adam Ward, of Roanoke, Virginia, TV station WDBJ, who were fatally shot in August by former co-worker Vester Lee Flanagan II during a live broadcast. Their interview subject, Vicki Gardner, was wounded. Flanagan fatally shot himself five hours later after a police chase.

“Journalists are a target and this just confirms it,” Simon said of the data the committee compiled. “This is a global threat.”


Excerpt, read TIME article
Associated Press writer Michael Balsamo contributed to this report.
Original source: Committee to Protect Journalists

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