Number of Journalists Killed for Their Reporting Doubled in 2020, Finds CPJ; Afghanistan Deadliest Country

The number of journalists killed as a result of their work more than doubled in 2020, an international media watchdog group said Tuesday, with armed conflict and gang violence making Afghanistan and Mexico among the deadliest countries for reporters globally.

At least 30 journalists were killed worldwide this year, according to the watchdog group, the Committee to Protect Journalists, with 21 of those killings carried out as a direct response to the reporters’ work, compared to 10 in 2019.

“It’s appalling that the murders of journalists have more than doubled in the last year, and this escalation represents a failure of the international community to confront the scourge of impunity,” Joel Simon, the CPJ’s executive director, said in a statement.


While the total number of killings rose in 2020, the number of deaths related to conflict fell to its lowest level since 2000, according to the CPJ, with waning violence in West Asia and fewer reporters traveling because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Still, while fewer journalists were caught in the crossfire of war in 2020, at least four were killed because of their work in Afghanistan, according to the CPJ. A fifth killing in Afghanistan on Monday is still being investigated, the group said.

Among those killed in Afghanistan was Malalai Maiwand, a television and radio reporter who was fatally shot while on her way to work this month.

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