A new report from Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has put the United States among the most dangerous places for journalists to work in 2018. Only Afghanistan, Syria, Mexico, Yemen and India ranked more dangerous.
This is the first time the U.S. has featured among the most dangerous places for journalists.
In 2018, six journalists were killed in the U.S. Four were from the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland,. The Maryland journalists were killed in June when a man walked into the newspaper’s offices armed with a shotgun and opened fire.
The other two journalists on the list were killed during Storm Alberto in North Carolina.
The 2018 report had some concerning revelations. The report found that worldwide, there were 80 journalists killed in 2018, 49 of which were murdered or deliberately targeted.
CNN reported that more journalists were subjected to violence and abuse than in any other year on record. The RSF sectary general Christophe Deloire said violence against journalists has reached “unprecedented levels”, adding, “the situation is now critical”.
Afghanistan was named the world’s most dangerous place for journalists this year. In 2018, the country saw the killings of 15 journalists. The Islamic State deliberately targeted journalists in roadside bombings, with nine killed in a double bombing in Kabul on April 30.
The report also named the worlds biggest culprits for jailing journalists. More than 50% of the world’s 348 imprisoned journalists are held in China, Egypt, Turkey, Iran and Saudi Arabia.
The report comes just days after Time magazine presented journalists with its ‘Person of the Year’ award. Among the journalists that received the award were the staff at the Capital Gazette, and the slain Washington Post journalist, Jamal Khashoggi.
The magazine explained its decision as an effort to emphasize the importance of journalists’ work in an increasingly hostile world, the Washington Post reported. The RSF report clearly demonstrates Time’s recognition was not misplaced.
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Oliver is a UK-born freelance writer and journalist based in Boston. He is a self-confessed politics junkie with a passion for foreign and environmental policy. His work has been featured on Open Democracy, International Policy Digest, and the London Economic. He was a regular contributor for ASEAN Today.