Journalists become increasing ‘targets’ for killings — watchdog

Journalists faced growing dangers of being targeted for killing for their work in 2018 even as the risks from war and conflict declined, media watchdog Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said on Wednesday.

The CPJ said 34 of the 53 journalists killed on duty this year around the world were “singled out for murder.”

READ MORE: Accountability dies when journalists are killed

“The number of journalists targeted for murder in reprisal for their reporting nearly doubled in 2018 from a year earlier, driving up the overall count of journalists killed on the job,” the New York-based watchdog group said in a report.

The reported echoed concerns in a similar report this week from Paris-based Reporters Without Borders, which found the death toll at 80, using a different methodology that includes bloggers, citizen journalists and media workers.

Both reports cited an alarming increase in reprisals against reporters, highlighted by what CPJ called the “brazen murder” of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul.

The CPJ report said that while the total number of journalists killed on duty hit its highest level in three years, the number killed in conflict fell to its lowest since 2011.

READ MORE: Editorial: Journalism under attack in Africa

The total is up from 47 killed in 2017, of which 18 were “pinpointed for murder,” CPJ said.

“Afghanistan, where extremists have stepped up deliberate attacks on journalists, was the deadliest country and accounted for much of the increase,” the report said.

AFP’s chief photographer in Afghanistan, Shah Marai, was among 25 people killed along with eight other journalists, in an April bomb attack.

The press rights group lamented “a lack of international leadership on journalists’ rights and safety” that may be increasing the dangers for the news media, illustrated by the Khashoggi killing.

“The most vocal head of state in Khashoggi’s case has been Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose government has effectively shut down the independent media and is jailing more journalists than any other around the world for the third consecutive year,” said the report by CPJ’s Elana Beiser.

“The White House, traditionally a strong defender of global press freedom, has equivocated on the blame for Khashoggi’s murder… Essentially, (US President Donald) Trump signaled that countries that do enough business with the United States are free to murder journalists without consequence.”

CPJ said it was investigating the killing of another 23 journalists in 2018, but so far not confirmed that the deaths were related to their work.

© Agence France-Presse

Agency
External source
Advertisting

Golding opportunity for kleptocrats

Government must take steps to clean up the country’s dirty real estate market, which has long offered a safe haven for criminals

SAA’s rescue men fly in defiance

The airline’s business rescue practitioners ignored a warning not to announce route closures and possible job cuts ahead of a restructuring plan
Advertising

Press Releases

Response to the report of the independent assessors

VUT welcomes the publishing of the report of the independent assessors to investigate concerns of poor governance, leadership, management, corruption and fraud at the university.

NWU student receives international award

Carol-Mari Schulz received the Bachelor of Health Sciences in Occupational Hygiene Top Achiever Award.

Academic programme resumes at all campuses

Lectures, practicals, seminars and tutorials will all resume today as per specific academic timetables.

Strategic social investments are a catalyst for social progress

Barloworld Mbewu enables beneficiaries to move away from dependence on grant funding

We all have a part to play to make South Africa work

Powering societal progress demands partnerships between all stakeholders

So you want to be a social entrepreneur?

Do the research first; it will save money and time later

Social entrepreneurship means business

Enterprises with a cause at their core might be exactly what our economy desperately needs

Looking inwards

Businesses are finding tangible ways to give back – but only because consumers demand it