Spectrum News 13 reporter Dylan Lyons, 24, who was killed in a shooting in the Orlando suburb of Pine Hills, Florida, on February 22, 2023. His colleague, photojournalist Jesse Walden, was critically injured. (Screenshot: Spectrum News 13)

CPJ appalled by killing of journalist reporting on Florida shootings

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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


Freelance Ukrainian journalist Kristina Berdynskykh reports from the village of Ruska Lozova, in Ukraine’s Kharkiv region, on June 7, 2022. (Photo: Oleksandr Medvedev)

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.

Since the start of the conflict, CPJ’s Emergencies team has received scores of requests from journalists for safety information and assistance, and has:

  • 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)

So far in 2023…

At least three journalists have been killed in relation to their work. Explore our database of attacks on the press and apply filters to examine trends.

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