It started as a street protest against President Bashar al-Assad. Ordinary citizens took out their smart phones to record the demonstrations that quickly spread. Four years and 220,000 dead later, the Syrian civil war is still raging, although the numbers of 'citizen' and professional journalists on hand to document it is woefully small.
Syria is the world’s deadliest country for journalists for the third year in a row. International journalists were killed at a higher rate in 2014 than in recent years. A CPJ special report by Shazdeh Omari
In 2014, at least 60 journalists and 11 media workers were killed in relation to their work, according to CPJ research. Local and international journalists died covering conflicts, including in Syria, Iraq, and Ukraine, while many others were murdered reporting on corruption and organized crime in their own countries.
Here, CPJ remembers some of the journalists who gave their lives to bring us this year's headlines.
New York, November 7, 2014--The Committee to Protect Journalists is deeply concerned by the revelation that a Federal Bureau of Investigation agent pretended to be an Associated Press reporter as part of a criminal investigation and calls on authorities to halt use of the tactic.
After 50 bloody days of conflict, it looks like a ceasefire may finally take hold in Israel and Gaza. Recently Gaza has been one of the deadliest places in the world for the press. According to CPJ research, at least seven journalists and media workers were killed on the job in four separate incidents.
New York, August 13, 2014--Simone Camilli, a video journalist for The Associated Press, and Ali Shehda Abu Afash, a freelance translator, were killed in the northern town of Beit Lahiya today when an unexploded missile blew up, the AP reported. The explosion also injured AP photographer Hatem Moussa. Camilli, an Italian, is the first international journalist to be killed on duty in Gaza this year.
Naqibullah, the Afghan police commander who killed The Associated Press' Anja Niedringhaus, has been given a death sentence after being convicted of murder and treason. He was also given a four- year sentence for shooting the AP's Kathy Gannon. Naqibullah (who goes by one name, as many Afghans do) opened fire at near-point-blank range on the AP photographer/reporter team in the southeastern city of Khost on April 4, 2014, as they were covering preparations for the first round of voting in Afghanistan's still-contested presidential elections. Wednesday's conviction and sentencing were the first steps along the legal path to a final conviction and sentence, which might not come for years.
New York, April 4, 2014--The Committee to Protect Journalist mourns the loss of Associated Press photographer Anja Niedringhaus and the wounding of AP reporter Kathy Gannon in Khost, Afghanistan. The two were shot by an Afghan police officer who approached their car in an election convoy and opened fire on them in the back seat, the AP reported.
Multiple journalists have been assaulted, threatened, and censored in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory in recent months.
Do you believe the free flow of information must be protected? Sign the #RightToReport petition and demand that President Obama immediately:
1. Issue a presidential policy directive prohibiting the hacking and surveillance of journalists and media organizations.
2. Limit aggressive prosecutions that ensnare journalists and intimidate whistleblowers.
3. Prevent the harassment of journalists at the U.S. border.
Or click here to see the full petition, and join leading journalists like Christiane Amanpour, The Guardian’s Alan Rusbridger, Editor of the AP Kathleen Carroll, and Arianna Huffington in signing on.