2023 was deadliest year for journalists in a decade, 140 of them killed: Press Emblem Campaign

Journalists. Photo Courtesy: Unsplash

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Geneva: With 140 journalists killed, 2023 was the deadliest year for media workers in ten years, the Geneva-based Press Emblem Campaign (PEC) announced here on Wednesday.

On an average, one journalist has been killed in Gaza during the war since Oct 7, accounting for about two-thirds of the deaths in the Middle East, according to the PEC report.

At least 81 of the 140 media professionals across 28 nations died in the Gaza Strip (106, according to the Gaza Media Office).

The majority of Palestinian journalists were employed by many media outlets, including international ones. Along with members of their families, they perished in indiscriminate Israeli strikes, frequently in their homes, according to the report.

“We condemn these indiscriminate strikes, which do not distinguish between civilians and Hamas fighters. While it is difficult to verify whether journalists were intentionally targeted or not, the Israeli army has systematically destroyed the Palestinian media in Gaza by bombing their offices and facilities,” said PEC President Blaise Lempen.

This is the highest media death toll during a conflict in such a short space of time.

Gaza remains impracticable for the foreign media to carry out their independent reporting due to the security conditions, according to the report.

Death beyond Middle East

At least 59 journaliss were killed outside of the Gaza Strip in 27 other nations.

The situation worsened in Guatemala, where five journalists were killed while in Mexico, nine journalists had died, the report said.

In the conflict in Ukraine, four journalists lost their lives—two Italian, one French, and two Russian—while in Israel, four perished in the October 7 Hamas attack.

In Pakistan, India, Lebanon, and Cameroon, three victims were reported. Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Haiti, Nigeria, the Philippines, and the United States of America were among the nations where two victims were reported each.

Finally, one journalist was reported dead in each of the following nations: Egypt, Honduras, Lesotho, Mali, Mozambique, Paraguay, Rwanda, Somalia, Sudan, and Syria, according to the PEC.

With 64% of cases and 90 deaths, the Middle East was the most affected region. Asia came in second with 12, Africa came in first with 11, Europe came in fourth with 4, and North America came in third with 3.