It is an increasingly dangerous time to be a member of the press.
In its annual report set to publish Tuesday morning, the Committee to Protect Journalists found that the number of journalists killed “increased sharply” in 2022, according to an advance copy of the report CNN has reviewed.
In total, the press advocacy organization said a staggering 67 journalists and others in the media profession were killed worldwide last year. That figure is more than double what was reported in 2021, when 28 journalists were killed.
“These figures point to a precipitous decline in press freedom, with the highest number of journalist killings since 2018,” CPJ President Jodie Ginsberg said.
“Meanwhile, governments continue to imprison record numbers of journalists and fail to confront the spiraling violence and culture of impunity that have effectively silenced entire communities around the world,” Ginsberg added.
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The disturbing report comes on the heels of CPJ’s annual prison census which found a record 363 reporters were imprisoned in 2022. That number represented a 30-year high, and comes after last year’s report that also found a record number of journalists deprived of their freedom.
It is no surprise that Ukraine was the deadliest country for journalists in 2022, with 15 members of the press killed in the war-torn country while covering Vladimir Putin’s brutal invasion.
That includes Pierre Zakrzewski, a 55-year-old longtime war photojournalist, and Oleksandra “Sasha” Kuvshynova, a 24-year-old Ukrainian journalist, who were killed last year while covering the war for Fox News.
But, one of the striking points highlighted by the report is just how perilous it currently is to practice journalism in Latin America. CPJ found that, despite the war being waged in Eastern Europe, Latin America was “the deadliest region for the press” in 2022, with more than 30 journalists killed.
In Mexico, where journalists were gruesomely murdered throughout 2022, prompting human rights advocates to express extreme concern, 13 journalists were killed in 2022, up from the nine killed in 2021. And in Haiti, seven members of the media were killed in 2022.
“Covering politics, crime, and corruption,” Ginsberg noted, “can be equally or more deadly than covering a full-scale war.”