Global journalist's death toll rises – again

By Henrik Kaufholz

2,294 journalists have been killed worldwide during the period 2000 – 2016, and the trend is increasing. That’s according to a whole new study from the Media Governance and Industries Research Lab at Vienna University, which is larger than in all previous overviews by non governmental organisations (NGOs) working with journalists.

Report Killed journalists Killed journalists

'We have all those deaths that have been publicly reported," says the leader of the study "Killings of Journalists Worldwide: The Full Costs of a Free Press", Professor Katharine Sarikakis, Vienna University. "We have conducted individual research on each of the 2,294 journalists, because it quickly turned out that there were errors in the existing lists. For example, some Arab journalists appeared in the list of those who had been killed two or three times because the various organisations working were spelling their names differently.'

Professor Sarikakis also found more journalists  have been killed who did not appear in existing surveys. She does not want to rule out that there are more than 2,294, but "we have been very thorough and we have involved researchers who can read and speak all relevant languages.". However, she mentions two "grey areas" – traffic “accidents“ and suicide. "Suicide is generally under-reported for many reasons, and when journalists die in traffic accidents it is difficult to assess."

It should be mentioned that governments and criminal organisations increasingly resort to the murder of journalists, although many governments, international organisations such as Unesco and many NGOs in recent years have strengthened their protection of journalists.

In the report you can click on each of the 2,294 from our ’unknown soldier’ (unidentified colleague), radio journalist Carlos Salgado in Honduras to Pavel Sheremet, killed by a car bomb in Kyiv, and Stéphane Charbonnier (Charb) who died in the terrorist attack on Charlie Hebdo.

Please find the whole study here

Professor Katharine Sarikakis will present the report at ECPMF's annual conference "Defending journalists under threat" on 5th October in Leipzig. Join us!

Get in Contact

fact finding mission analysis