2023 deadliest in nearly decade for reporters

Henry

No less than 77 of the 99 journalists killed in the line of duty last year died in the war between Israel and Hamas.

The year 2023 was moreover the deadliest for the media in almost a decade, says the committee for the protection of journalists.

The committee says the number of journalists who died in 2023 is the highest since 2015 and represents an increase of almost 44% compared to 2022.

The finding comes after the committee for the protection of journalists had already indicated in December that more journalists had died in the first three months of the Israel-Gaza war than had died in a single country in a whole year.

A total of 72 of the 77 journalists killed in the Israel-Hamas conflict were Palestinians.

Three Lebanese and two Israelis also perished.

Jodie Ginsberg, CEO of the Committee to Protect Journalists, says reporters serve as evidence of what’s going on on the front lines.

“The tremendous loss that Palestinian journalists have suffered in this war will have a long-term impact on journalism, not only in the Palestinian territories, but for the region and beyond.

“Every journalist who is killed is a further blow to our understanding of the world.”

This New York-based press freedom organization said earlier this month that the number of journalists killed in the Gaza-Hamas conflict had risen from 77 to 85 since the end of last year.

The committee for the protection of journalists is meanwhile investigating whether these dead journalists were deliberately targeted by Israeli soldiers.

Should this be the case, it would amount to “a war crime”, the committee points out.

Fewer journalists killed in Ukraine

The largest decrease in journalist deaths was recorded in Ukraine and Mexico. These countries each reported two deaths of journalists last year compared to 13 each the year before.

One of those killed in Ukraine was the AFP journalist Arman Soldin. Soldin (32) died in May last year when his reporting team came under fire near the eastern city of Bakhmut.

However, the committee warns that Mexico, along with the Philippines and Somalia, is “one of the world’s deadliest countries for the press”.

“To make the situation worse, government agencies are spying on reporters and human rights defenders, and a significant number of journalists have had to leave their homes and abandon their professions due to violence,” the committee warns.