2018 deadliest year for journalists, 53 killed on the job

More journalists were killed, abused and subjected to violence in 2018 than in any other year on record, with those in the profession facing an "unprecedented level of hostility", a new report has found.

There are also some journalists who are being detained even after the court ordered them to be set free.

"United States Added to List of Most Dangerous Countries for Journalists for First Time", howled the NBC headline. Eighty journalists, including media reporters and non-professional journalists, were killed worldwide in 2018, according to RWB's annual report.

"The US government recently said that it believes Austin Tice, an American journalist who was kidnapped near Damascus in 2012, is still alive and that it is doing everything possible to bring him back to the US as soon as possible", the report said.

In addition to retaliation killings, journalists have died in combat or crossfire, or on other unsafe assignments.

"This year the U.S. became the fourth deadliest country in the world alongside Mexico because of the unprecedented murder of journalists and editorial staff by a lone gunman at the Capital Gazette newspaper", CPJ told The Daily Caller News Foundation in an email Wednesday.

Syria and Yemen are also considered among the most unsafe countries and, for the first time, the US was included in the list of five deadliest countries.

FILE - In this November 16, 2018 file photo, members of Arab-Turkish Media Association and friends of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi hold posters showing images of Saudi Crown Prince Muhammed bin Salman and of Khashoggi.

On the other hand, the number of journalists killed in combat or crossfire dropped to the lowest since 2011.

At least 251 journalists have been thrown in jail for their work in 2018, according to a CPJ Dec. 13 report.

Afghanistan was the deadliest country, with 15 reporters killed - 10 of whom died in a series of attacks in Kabul in April, for which ISIS claimed responsibility.

Listing the United States as one of the most risky countries in the world for journalists seems like an underhanded smack at President Trump for his standoffish nature against what he describes as the "fake news media" and for his keeping the status-quo with Saudi Arabia following the murder of Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi. More than half of the journalists had been targeted due to their activities was murdered. Four of those were journalists killed by a gunman in a June attack on the newspaper Capital Gazette in Maryland. Others were killed while they were working in the field. The report, however, includes two journalists who were killed by a falling tree in North Carolina.

Khashoggi was a royal insider of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and his started writing against the crown in 2017 for the Washington Post when he moved to US.

Twenty-seven-year-old Ján Kuciak and his fiancée were murdered in February. If deranged murderer Jarrod Ramos, a longtime paranoid convinced the entire world was out to get him, had not made a decision to open fire on people he had been stalking and harassing since 2011, no journalists would have died in the United States at all.

  • Rogelio Becker