An analysis published by Reporters Without Borders, an international non-profit organization, found that some 1,700 journalists have been killed around the world over the past 20 years.

The two decades between 2003 and 2022 were “particularly deadly decades for those who serve the right to know,” the Paris-based organization said.

“Behind the numbers are the faces, the personalities, the talent and the commitment of those who have paid with their lives for gathering information, seeking truth and a passion for journalism,” said RSF General Secretary Christophe Deloir.

Iraq and Syria were the most dangerous countries for a journalist to work, accounting for “a total of 578 journalists killed over the past 20 years, or more than a third of the world’s total,” reports RSF.

They are followed by Mexico (125 killed), the Philippines (107), Pakistan (93), Afghanistan (81) and Somalia (78).

The “darkest years” were 2012 and 2013, “largely because of the war in Syria.” The report says there were 144 murders in 2012 and 142 a year later.

That peak “was followed by a gradual decline and then historically low numbers since 2019.”

Putin’s influence

But in 2022, the number of deaths increased again, due in part to the war in Ukraine. This year, 58 journalists have been killed in the line of duty, up from 51 in 2021.

Eight journalists were killed in Ukraine after the Russian invasion in February. This compares to 12 media deaths in the previous 19 years.

Ukraine is currently the most dangerous country in Europe for the media after Russia itself, where 25 journalists have been killed over the past 20 years.

“Since (President) Vladimir Putin came to power, Russia has witnessed systematic attacks on freedom of the press, including fatalities, as repeatedly reported by RSF.

“They include the high-profile murder of Anna Politkovskaya on October 7, 2006,” the rights group said.

America’s losses

Reporters are most at risk worldwide in areas where armed conflict has occurred.

But, RSF stressed, “countries not officially at war are not necessarily safe for reporters, and some of them are at the top of the list of countries where killings have occurred.

“In fact, over the past two decades, more journalists have been killed in ‘peace zones’ than in ‘war zones’, in most cases because they were investigating organized crime and corruption.”

America accounts for almost half of the journalists killed, many in Mexico, Brazil, Colombia and Honduras.

“America is clearly the most dangerous continent in the world for the media right now,” RSF said in a statement.

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Eddie Hudson is an Entertainment News Reporter and Fashion Stylist. Graduated with a degree in Television Production from Howard University. He is an award-winning entertainment news reporter at 24PalNews and credits his upbringing and passion for helping others as the foundation for his success.

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