The Torch is a weekly newsletter from the Committee to Protect Journalists that brings you the latest press freedom and journalist safety news from around the world. Subscribe here.
On Wednesday, Spectrum News 13 reporter Dylan Lyons was shot and killed in Orange County, Florida, while covering a separate fatal shooting earlier in the day. Another member of the news crew, photographer Jesse Walden, was critically injured in the shooting, which also killed a 9-year-old girl and injured her mother. Police arrested a 19-year-old man they believe is responsible for both of the day’s shooting incidents.
“We are appalled by the killing of a Spectrum 13 journalist in Orange County, Florida, and we stand in solidarity with the newsroom,” said CPJ U.S. and Canada Program Coordinator Katherine Jacobsen. “It is deeply disturbing that a journalist was killed while covering the gun violence that has become a sickening reality of living in the United States. Reporters must be able to cover the news without having to fear for their lives.”
Lyons is the second journalist killed in connection to his work in the U.S. in the past six months. In September, Las Vegas Review-Journal investigative reporter Jeff German was stabbed to death outside his home by a local official he had reported critically on; that official was arrested soon after the killing and faces murder charges.
For journalists covering the Florida shootings, this resource by CPJ and the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma provides mental health best practices for assignments involving gun violence.
And for more information, read the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker documentation of the fatal shooting in their database of press freedom incidents in the United States.
Global press freedom updates
- Slovakia press freedom delegation demands justice for Ján Kuciak
- Turkey indicts 10 journalists on terrorism charges
- Newly released from Turkish prison, Kurdish journalist Nedim Türfent reflects on sham prosecution
- CPJ joins renewed call for Romanian authorities to investigate harassment of journalist Emilia Șercan
- Taliban bans, restricts media operations in 2 Afghanistan provinces
- Bangladesh shutters newspaper run by political opposition party
- Malawi police detain, charge journalist Dorica Mtenje over story she did not write
- Authorities in Ethiopia’s Somali region suspend 15 media outlets, revoke media association’s license
Friday marks a year since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine—a grim anniversary amid a conflict that continues to exact a brutal toll, including attacks on the journalists who have risked their lives to deliver the truth in a war mired in disinformation. Since February 2022, 15 local and international journalists have been killed—13 in direct relation to their work. Countless others have been injured, and many are grappling with trauma.
- Provided safety information on war reporting, reporting from areas containing unexploded ordnance, digital safety, and internet shutdowns — available in English and Ukrainian
- Created a WhatsApp chatbot that shares CPJ’s safety information with journalists in Ukraine
- Provided life-saving assistance in the form of individual first aid kits, financial assistance, and country conditions letters to help the relocation efforts of journalists impacted by the war
📹 Watch how local journalists’ work was transformed over the course of the war
📜 Read our feature on how journalists have been forced to adapt to their new roles, as new threats continue to emerge
📌 Check out CPJ’s coverage of the war since it began
One month ago, on January 22, Cameroonian journalist Martinez Zogo was found dead after going missing five days earlier. CPJ and The Washington Post Press Freedom Partnership ran a print ad in The Washington Post on Wednesday calling for a transparent and credible investigation.
What we are reading (and watching)
- One year in: How Putin’s war has changed journalism in exile — Ekaterina Venkina, Deutsche Welle
- Journalists share their experiences, advice for covering the Turkey-Syria earthquake — Asma Hamdi Qandil, International Center for Journalists
- What’s it like when your job involves wading through others’ suffering? I was left weeping and hopeless — Dhruti Shah, The Guardian
- The case of Maks Levin – Anatomy of an execution — Reporters Without Borders and Patrick Chauvel
- Prepare ahead and beware of propaganda: Tips to cover the Nigerian elections — Patrick Egwu, Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism
- A court victory is not enough to restore Philippine press freedom — Carmela Fonbuena, Nikkei Asia
- Getting public records is getting harder in Texas. Collin County is no exception — Caroline Love, KERA News
- How to keep your Twitter secure without giving Elon Musk any money — Zack Whittaker, TechCrunch
So far in 2023…
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