THE Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has said 67 journalists and media workers were killed worldwide in 2022.
In a report on Tuesday, January 24, the CPJ said the year witnessed the highest number of journalists brutally murdered around the globe since 2018.
The 2022 figures of journalists and media workers killed were almost twice the number eliminated in 2021.
The 67 journalists killed in 2022 are among 2,186 who have been murdered since 1992, according to the Committee.
The deceased were victims of their work – exposing sleazes, covering gang violence, other dangerous activities and the environment.
Deaths of journalists and other media workers in the past year grew because of the high casualties of the professionals from the Russia/Ukraine war and the hostile media working environment in Latin America, especially Mexico.
Of the 67 killed, 41 died in direct connection to their work. The circumstances behind the killings of others have yet to be known. CPJ said it will continue to probe their death.
CPJ’s report does not include journalists who died of illness or were killed in a car or plane crash unless the crash was caused by hostile action.
In addition to Mexico, Russia and Ukraine, journalists and media workers died in Colombia, the Philippines, Chad, Chile, Israel, Myanmar, Brazil, Haiti, Turkey, Occupied Palestinian Territory and the United States.
The deaths underline the extent of threats faced by the press around the world, including in countries with democratically elected governments, the CPJ noted.
“CPJ tracks three types of journalists’ deaths in relation to their work: targeted murders in reprisal for reporting–by far the largest category; deaths in combat or crossfire; and deaths on other dangerous assignments. CPJ also tracks the killings of media support workers, such as translators, drivers, and security guards; there was one such killing in 2022 in Kazakhstan.”
Other highlights of the report show that the Russian/Ukraine war caused the death of 13 of the 15 journalists who died in Ukraine, and more could die as the war persists.
Nearly half of the global total (30) died in Latin America in 2022 – “a reflection of the outsize risk journalists in the region face”.
CPJ recalled Maria Guadalupe Lourdes Maldonado López, a veteran broadcast journalist who was shot dead in her car in Tijuana, Mexico, in January 2022, including Alfonso Margarito Martínez Esquivel and Armando Linares López who were brutally murdered.
In October, two gunmen fatally shot and killed Rafael Emiro Moreno Garavito, a veteran journalist in Colombia. In May, Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was shot and killed while reporting an Israeli military raid in the Palestinian West Bank city of Jenin.
CPJ specifically accused Israel of condoning impunity for crimes against the press.
It said Akleh’s killing came one year after Israeli forces bombed several buildings in the Gaza Strip housing media offices, including The Associated Press and Al-Jazeera.
In the Philippines, all four of the murdered journalists were radio journalists “covering local politics, highlighting the dangers faced by the press in the country”.
The ICIR reports that the CPJ did not record that any journalist died in Nigeria in 2022; there were reports of attacks on the practitioners and other workers in the industry.
The International Press Centre (IPC) condemned some of those attacks in a report in June of that year.
There are several reports of the government’s intolerance of journalists’ work in Nigeria, resulting in their unlawful arrest, shoddy arraignment and incarceration, including a 2019 report which showed that the country recorded the worst attacks on journalists in 34 years under President Muhammadu Buhari.