The Committee to Protect Journalists calls the last three years the most deadly for journalists and media workers since it has been tracking that statistic. At least 61 journalists and 11 support staff members were killed in 2014 while doing their jobs. Almost half of those came from the Middle East. The majority of those killed were broadcast journalists.
The total could rise. There are 18 more journalists who were killed where the motive is still unknown, and a Congolese journalist was killed Dec. 29, six days after the committee’s report was issued.
More than a quarter of those killed were members of the international press, double the percentage of recent years. Historically, most journalists killed are covering local stories in-country, but as war zones proliferate—Afghanistan, Ukraine, Syria—journalists follow the action and sometimes pay the ultimate price.
“This is the most dangerous time to be a journalist we have ever seen,” CPJ executive director Joel Simon says of the new report, with Westerners often deliberately targeted.
“Historically, local journalists have always borne the brunt of the danger, and this is still the case. But the increased attacks on international journalists show that in the current environment, everyone is a target,” says Simon.
According to CPJ, the highest number of deaths in 2014 came from the broadcast reporter ranks, at 35% of the total, followed by photographers and camera operators. The Western journalists murdered by ISIS in the Middle East may have been the highest-profile killings, but there were many others covering the conflicts in Israel, occupied territories and in Ukraine. Then there were the journalists and media workers apparently murdered while trying to cover the Ebola outbreak.
The risk extended beyond reporters to those who help them do their jobs—11 translators, administrative staffers, drivers and other media support staff were also killed last year.
Here is the honor roll of journalists and media workers, each one a mother or father or brother or sister or son or daughter or friend, who died in the line of duty in 2014 in an effort to ensure that strife and injustice could not fester under the cover of darkness.
Zubair Hatami, Mitra TV; Mahran al-Deeri, Al-Jazeera; Salem Khalil, Orient News; Rami Asmi, Orient News; Yousef el-Dous, Orient News; Luke Somers, Freelance; Mohamed Isaq, Kalsan TV; Abdulkadir Ahmed, Freelance; MVN Shankar, Andhra Prabha; Zaher Mtawe’e, Zebdine Coordination Committee; Abdirizak Ali Abdi, Freelance; Pablo Medina Velázquez, ABC Color; Atallah Bajbouj, Nabaa Media Foundation; Aung Kyaw Naing, “Par Gyi,” Freelance; Facely Camara, Liberté FM; Mohammed al-Qasim, Rozana Radio; Steven Sotloff, Freelance; Irshad Mastoi, Online International News Network, ARY NewsGhulam Rasool, Online International News Network; James Foley, Freelance; Simone Camilli, The Associated Press.
Also: Octavio Rojas Hernández, El Buen Tono; Leyla Yildizhan (Deniz Firat), Firat News Agency; Andrei Stenin, Rossiya Segodnya; Sameh al-Aryan, Al-Aqsa TV; Rami Rayan, Palestine Network for Press and Media; Khaled Reyadh Hamad, Continue Production Films; Anatoly Klyan, Pervy Kanal; Mohamed Taani, SMART News Agency; Yusuf Ahmed Abukar, Radio Ergo, Mustaqbal Radio; Ahmed Hasan Ahmed, Xinhua News Agency; Edgar Pantaleón Fernández Fleitas, Belén Comunicaciones; Igor Kornelyuk, VGTRK; Khalid Ali Hamada, Al-Ahad TV; Tarun Kumar Acharya, Kanak TV; Muftah Bu Zeid, Brnieq; Andrea Rocchelli, Cesura photo agency; Sadrul Alam Nipul, Dainik Mathabhanga; Camille Lepage, Freelance; Fausto Gabriel Alcaraz Garay, Radio Amambay; Al-Moutaz Bellah Ibrahim, Shaam News Network; Mouaz Alomar (Abu Mehdi Al Hamwi), Freelance; Rubylita Garcia, Remate, dwAD; Bilal Ahmed Bilal, Palestine Today TV.
And finally: Anja Niedringhaus, The Associated Press; Mayada Ashraf, Al-Dustour; Nils Horner, Sveriges Radio; Muthanna Abdel Hussein, Al-Iraqiya; Khaled Abdel Thamer, Al-Iraqiya; Ali Mustafa, Freelance; Omar Abdul Qader, Al-Mayadeen; Gregorio Jiménez de la Cruz, Notisur and Liberal del Sur; Turad Mohamed al-Zahouri, Freelance; Vyacheslav Veremiy, Vesti; Germain Kennedy Mumbere Muliwavyo, Radio Télévision Muungano; Pedro Palma, Panorama Regional; Santiago Ilídio Andrade, Bandeirantes; Firas Mohammed Attiyah, Fallujah TV; Michael Tshele, Freelance; Shan Dahar, Abb Takk Television; Kadir Bagdu, Azadiya Welat; Sidiki Sidibé, Radio Rurale de N’Zérékoré; Molou Chérif, Radio Rurale de N’Zérékoré; Ali Abu Afash, Freelance; Mohammed Noural-Din al-Deiri, Palestine Network for Press and Media; Hamid Shihab, Media 24; Anton Voloshin, VGTRK; Andrei Mironov, Memorial; Waqas Aziz Khan, Express TV; Mohammad Khalid, Express TV; and Ashraf Arain, Express TV.
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