The year 2014 has been a deadly year to work in journalism. At least 60 journalists have been killed this year while on the job or due to their work, while 44 percent of them were targeted for murder.
According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, a leading news media advocacy group, an "unusually high proportion" or about one-fourth, of those killed included international journalists. The complete list, released on Monday, included the latest journalist death, which was Afghan cameraman Zubair Hatami; according to Michael Calderone of the Huffington Post, Hatami died Saturday from injuries he received from a Taliban attack.
"Reflecting in part the increasingly volatile nature of conflict zones in which Westerners are often deliberately targeted, about one quarter of the journalists killed this year were members of the international press, about double the proportion CPJ has documented in recent years," the report stated. "Over time, according to CPJ research, about nine out of every 10 journalists killed are local people covering local stories."
The annual report, according to Rick Gladstone of the New York Times, gauged the physical hazards confronting journalists reporting on conflict zones, politics, human rights and other issues. Many of the journalists' deaths took place in countries where there is low accountability and high impunity.
According to Calderone, worldwide attention to the plight of journalists working in war zones came in the aftermath of the grisly deaths of James Foley and Steven Sotloff, who were both executed by beheadings in Syria. Their untimely fates reflected an alarming trend where journalists around the world have been targeted and killed.
Last year, the CPJ noted that the number of journalists killed in 2014 had decreased from 70 the year before. However, Cara Anna of the Associated Press reported that the last three years have been the deadliest for reporters since the media group starting compiling these records in 1992.
"The crushing conflict in Syria, now well into its fourth year, has been a major factor," Anna wrote. "The report said at least 17 journalists were killed there this year, with at least 79 killed since the fighting began in 2011."
Huffington Post noted that CPJ found journalist casualties in Gaza, Iraq and Ukraine. Four journalists and three media workers were killed in Gaza, while Iraq had five journalists killed and Ukraine had five journalists and two media workers killed in the line of duty.
"The overwhelming majority of journalists under threat for their work continue to be local," CPJ said in its report.
CPJ is also investigating whether or not the deaths of 18 journalists were related to work, according to New York Times.