2022 Was Deadly Year for Journalists, Media Workers, Report Says
NEW YORK – As many as 67 journalists and media workers died violently in 2020, an increase of nearly 50% from 2021, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.
The New York-based nonprofit attributed the increase to the large number of journalists killed while covering the war in Ukraine and the jump in the number of killings in Latin America.
“These figures point to a precipitous decline in press freedom, with the highest number of journalist killings since 2018,” said CPJ President Jodie Ginsberg in a written statement that accompanied the release of the report.
“Covering politics, crime, and corruption can be equally or more deadly than covering a full-scale war. Meanwhile, governments continue to imprison record numbers of journalists and fail to confront the spiraling violence and culture of impunity that have effectively silenced entire communities around the world.”
The committee said it has confirmed that at least 41 journalists and media workers were killed in direct connection with their work, and is investigating the motives for the killings of 26 others to determine whether they were work-related.
More than half of the 67 killings occurred in just three countries — Ukraine (15), Mexico (13) and Haiti (7).
Latin America was the deadliest region for the press, with 30 journalists killed, accounting for nearly half of the 67 journalists and media workers killed worldwide. Notably, despite countries across Latin America being nominally at peace, the region surpassed the high number of journalists killed in the Ukraine war.
The vast majority of those killed were local journalists covering their own communities.
Across Latin America, journalists covering crime, corruption, gang violence and the environment were found to be most at risk.
In Mexico, the committee documented a total of 13 journalists killed, the highest-ever number in a single year in that country.
Alongside the lawlessness and humanitarian emergency in Haiti, the region faces an ever-mounting crisis in journalist killings, leaving news deserts and contributing to insecurity for local communities, the report said.
The committee also found that existing mechanisms to protect journalists’ safety fail to shield the press. State and federal protections and laws that deal specifically with journalist protection continue to prove ineffective in keeping journalists safe.
“Few governments have mechanisms to protect journalists and those that do exist are not living up to their promise,” Ginsberg said in a written statement. “Governments must provide protection, credible investigations, and justice. Failing to do so charts a perilous path toward information black holes and public insecurity.”