2004 Was Deadly Year for Journalists

At least 129 journalist and other media workers were killed in 2004 — likely the largest number since the International Federation of Journalists kept keeping records of media killings in the 1980s. That number is expected to rise as more information about journalist deaths is collected.

According to the IJF’s annual report (emphasis added),

The IFJ casualty toll includes all employed staff, including freelance who work in all sections of the media industry. Our list includes all journalists and support staff as well as employees who are in the firing line and who are victims because their media have been targeted. We include personnel such as drivers, fixers and translators who died during newsgathering activities. We also include people who have been killed because of
accidental causes while on duty.
We recognize that other organizations do not include some of the victims we have identified. We believe that by ensuring all media employees involved in the support and promotion of journalistic activity are covered by this report it is possible to give a fuller picture of the extent of casualties within the media workforce.

Iraq was, not surprisingly, the most dangerous place for media workers, with almost 50 reporters and other media workers killed in that country. Most of those killed were the victims of terrorist attacks that indiscriminately target civilians, but the IFJ also criticized the United States for failing to conduct thorough and open investigations of killings of media employees by its soldiers.

The next most dangerous place for journalists was the Philippines where 13 reporters were killed in 2004. Not a single person has been detained in the murders of journalists in that country according to the IFJ.

In the United States, the IFJ recorded just a single on-the-job death — a journalist who was killed in Texas when a mobile news van’s broadcast mast collided with powerlines and 23-year-old Matthew Moore was electrocuted.

Sources:

‘Deadliest’ year for journalists. Chris Morris, The BBC, January 18, 2005.

Journalist and Staff Killed in 2004. International Federation of Journalists, 2005.

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