Journalists Killed in the Field Up Sharply Last Year

January 24, 2023

The number of journalists killed while reporting from the field increased by 50% last year, according to a report released this week by the Committee to Protect Journalists (JPC).

The report found that a total of 67 journalists and other media workers were killed on duty last year, the highest number since 2018.

The total was also a marked increase over the tally of 45 journalists killed in 2021.

More than half of the 67 killings occurred in just three countries–Ukraine (15), Mexico (13), and Haiti (7), the highest yearly numbers CPJ has ever recorded for these countries.

Among those killed in Ukraine were 55-year-old photojournalist Pierre Zakrzewski, and 24-year-old Ukrainian journalist Oleksandra “Sasha” Kuvshynova, who were killed while covering the war for Fox News.

The JPC noted that nearly as many journalists were killed in Mexico—a country officially at peace—as Ukraine, which was at war with Russia for nearly 11 of 2022’s 12 months. Those murdered in Mexico included celebrated crime photographer Margarito Martínez Esquivel, who was gunned down outside his Tijuana home last January.

Haiti, meanwhile, has spiralled further into political and humanitarian crisis since the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse July 2021. The country no longer has a single democratically elected government official. 

CPJ also highlighted the May shooting death of Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, who was apparently killed by gunfire from Israel Defense Forces.

About a third of the journalists killed were local reporters covering sensitive topics like politics, crime and corruption.

The journalists’ deaths “underline the extent of threats faced by the press around the world, including in countries with democratically elected governments,” CPJ wrote.

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