JOURNALISM’S TERRIBLE TOLL: CPJ releases new statistics

389 journalists killed between 1992 and 2001, most murdered with impunity

New York, June 4, 2002–The majority of journalists killed in the line of duty during the last decade were murdered because of their reporting, concludes a study released today by the Committee to Protect Journalists.

This comprehensive analysis of journalists killed between 1992 and 2001 draws attention to the risks that the media take to report the news and highlights a disturbing global trend: Of the 389 journalists killed on the job, only 62, or 16 percent, died in cross fire, while 298, or 77 percent, were murdered in reprisal for their reporting.

Moreover, CPJ has recorded only 20 cases in which the person or persons responsible for a journalist’s murder have been arrested and prosecuted. That means that in 95 percent of the cases, those who murder journalists do so without suffering any consequences.

“Journalists in many countries are working without the protection of the law, and they’re being murdered as a result,” said CPJ executive director Ann Cooper. “These journalists are not forgotten, and we must continue to demand justice.” 

Dangerous assignments

In addition to the list of journalists killed, CPJ has also released an analysis of the newly revised research: 

  • The single deadliest year of the last decade was 1994, when 66 journalists were killed, primarily in Algeria, Rwanda, and Bosnia; 57 journalists were killed in 1993; 51 in 1995; and 37 died last year, including nine journalists who were killed covering war in Afghanistan.
  • Algeria, Russia, Colombia, the Balkans, and Turkey were the deadliest beats during the last decade. 
  • The report documents the extraordinary sacrifice made by combat photographers and radio journalists: From 1992 to 2001, fifty cameramen and photographers were killed, the majority of them died covering wars. Meanwhile, 49 radio reporters were killed, many in isolated parts of the world.

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