Sometimes in reporting the news, journalists unfortunately become the news.
In 2015, 110 journalists were killed either for their work or for unknown reasons.
Of those, 67 were targeted because of their work or while reporting, according to Reporters Without Borders (RSF), which annually tracks journalist deaths. In total, 787 journalists have been killed in connection with their work in the past 10 years.
Two-thirds of those deaths occurred in peaceful countries, and only one-third happened in war zones, which is in stark contrast to last year when the opposite was true. This is in large part to the Charlie Hebdo attacks, which left 12 people – eight of whom were journalists – dead.
France proved to be the third deadliest country for journalists in 2015, following only Iraq and Syria.
Beyond the death toll, 153 journalists were detained and another 54 were held hostage in 2015.
“There will never be a zero-risk option for journalists whose work takes them to a dangerous region, but they seem for the most part to be left to themselves to deal with security challenges,” RSF secretary-general Christophe Deloire said.
Deloire cited the need for a mechanism to enforce international law to protect journalists.
“Non-state groups perpetrate targeted atrocities while too many governments do not comply with their obligations under international law. The 110 journalists killed this year need a response that matches the emergency. A special representative of the United Nations secretary-general for the safety of journalists must be appointed without delay."
RSF on December 15 updated its Safety Guide for Journalists, which it creates with UNESCO.