Alarming new report finds dozens of journalists killed last year amid a sharp decline in press freedom.
Alarming new report finds dozens of journalists killed last year amid a sharp decline in press freedom: It is an increasingly dangerous time to be a member of the press. This is a statement that has been echoed by many in the media industry, and it is a sentiment that is backed up by hard data. In its annual report set to publish Tuesday morning, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) found that the number of journalists killed worldwide has increased sharply in 2022.
According to an advance copy of the report reviewed by CNN, the press advocacy organization reported that a staggering 67 journalists and others in the media profession were killed worldwide last year. That figure is more than double what was reported in 2021, when 28 journalists were killed. The report also highlighted that Latin America was the deadliest region for the press, with over 30 journalists killed.
The disturbing report comes on the heels of CPJ’s annual prison census, which found a record 363 reporters were imprisoned in 2022. That number represented a 30-year high, and comes after last year’s report that also found a record number of journalists deprived of their freedom. It is no surprise that Ukraine was the deadliest country for journalists in 2022, with 15 members of the press killed in the war-torn country while covering Vladimir Putin’s brutal invasion.
That includes Pierre Zakrzewski, a 55-year-old longtime war photojournalist, and Oleksandra “Sasha” Kuvshynova, a 24-year-old Ukrainian journalist, who were killed last year while covering the war for Fox News. But, one of the striking points highlighted by the report is just how perilous it currently is to practice journalism in Latin America. CPJ found that, despite the war being waged in Eastern Europe, Latin America was “the deadliest region for the press” in 2022, with more than 30 journalists killed.
In Mexico, where journalists were gruesomely murdered throughout 2022, prompting human rights advocates to express extreme concern, 13 journalists were killed in 2022, up from the nine killed in 2021. And in Haiti, seven members of the media were killed in 2022. These figures are a sobering reminder of the risks journalists take every day to bring us the news, and they serve as a call to action for all those who value a free press.
Journalists around the world are facing an unprecedented level of danger, and it is important that we do everything in our power to ensure their safety. This includes standing up for the rights of journalists, calling out governments and non-state actors that seek to silence the press, and investing in the training and support that journalists need to stay safe on the job.
While the numbers are alarming, it is important to remember that behind each statistic is a human being, a person who dedicated their life to bringing us the news, and whose death is a loss to us all. As a society, we must do everything in our power to protect journalists, and to ensure that their voices continue to be heard.
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