Journalist mortality jumps 50% in 2022, led by Ukraine and Mexico

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti—The number of journalists killed worldwide in 2022 increased by 50% compared to the previous year, largely due to attacks in Ukraine, Mexico and Haiti.

At least 67 news media workers will be killed worldwide in 2022, the most since 2018, according to a report Tuesday by the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). Work under extreme stress.

The impact is particularly pronounced in Haiti, where seven journalists were killed in 2022. That’s a huge number for a small island nation of about 12 million people. At least two were shot by police, while others were killed by violent street gangs that essentially took over the capital, Port-au-Prince.

People help journalists with tear gas fired by police during a protest against the death of journalist Romelson Villesante in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on October 30, 2022. (Ramon Espinosa/AP Photo)

Radio Caraibes’ Mackenson Remy, who still reports the news on the street, said journalists no longer knew who to trust.

“Reporting in Haiti today, especially in the capital, is very difficult for journalists,” Remy said. “Corruption is everywhere. There is no one you can count on.

Remy likened his work driving through the streets of a city divided into gangster territories to the 1998 film The Truman Show.

The CPJ notes that more than half of 35 of the 67 killings occurred in three countries: Ukraine, Mexico and Haiti. The commission said 13 journalists were killed in Mexico. Other media groups put the number at 15, making 2022 the worst year for Mexican journalists in at least 30 years. According to the CPJ, 15 journalists died in war-torn Ukraine last year.

The CPJ confirmed that 41 of the 67 journalists had been killed “directly in connection with their work” and said it was investigating the motives for the other 26 killings.

The CPJ said journalists covering the war in Ukraine “face great risks”.

“Members of the press are often injured in artillery fire while covering the conflict, and some report being targeted by Russian forces,” the commission said in its report.

In Mexico, a toxic combination of drug cartel violence, local political corruption, and lack of punishment for killers appears to have caused the killings.

Sonia de Anda reports on the Esquina32 news website in the northern border city of Tijuana, where two journalists were killed in the space of a week in January 2022. She said reporters there have changed work habits or sought police protection since the killing.

“This has changed the dynamics of our entire work,” says De Anda. “If reporters go to remote high-risk areas, they tell her colleagues where they are going.” Stated.

On January 17, 2022, crime photographer Margarito Martinez was shot dead outside his home. Five days later, on January 23, her reporter Lourdes Maldonado López was found shot dead in her car.

Investigators said a local drug boss paid the shooter about $1,000 to kill the news photographer because he thought Martinez took pictures of him or his family. It was nothing.

Authorities have arrested and brought to trial a handful of low-level gunmen, but have not arrested those who ordered the killings. It means you can.

The 2022 killings included four journalists in the Philippines and two each in Colombia, Brazil and Honduras. Two journalists were also killed each in Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Somalia and Chad.

A journalist was murdered in the United States on September 2nd last year. That’s Jeff Germann, a reporter for the Las Vegas Review-Journal. An elected official in the Las Vegas area, whose article the German wrote, pleaded not guilty to the murder.

By Evens Sannon