Steven Sotloff

Steven Sotloff

The murders of war correspondents James Foley and Steven Sotloff have resonated with a particular horror in American newsrooms. Even if your main job is covering some small-town parking dispute, not risking your life as a free lancer in a field of slaughter, journalists feel that they're part of a community that transcends beats and news organizations. That community transcends political boundaries as well, and all of us should pay attention to the world war against journalists.  

Frank Smyth of the Committee to Protect Journalists writes that the back-to-back videotaped beheadings of journalists is "unprecedented" in the advocacy group's 33-year history. But he points out that only three years ago, the "decapitated remains" of a Mexican journalist named Maria Elisabeth Macias Castro were discovered, along with a note explaining that she had died for her investigative reporting into organized crime. She was one of 75 journalists and media workers killed in Mexico since 1994. (In the United States during that time, there have been three). Mexican journalists continue to work in conditions that make the Obama Administration's hostility to national security reporters seem like minor irritations (not that we should put up with that, either).

James Foley

James Foley

Not long ago, working as an investigative reporter in Minneapolis could get you killed. Three editors were murdered between 1934 and 1945, and no one was punished for their deaths. These days, thanks to CPJ and other groups, the targeted killings of journalists are more likely to be recognized as the human rights violations that they are. It's essential for all of us to remember the courage of those who went to bear witness in places few of us would have the interest, or the guts, to go. And to recognize that for so many of our colleagues in other countries, reporting on their own communities can leave them dead on the side of the road. Yet they still do it.

Data from CPJ:

Journalists killed since 1992: 1,073

Journalists and media workers killed in 2014: 52

Their names:

34 journalists killed in 2014: Motive explained

Steven Sotloff, Freelance
James Foley, Freelance

     August 2014, in Unknown, Syria

Simone Camilli, The Associated Press

     August 13, 2014, in Beit Lahiya, Gaza, Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory

Leyla Yildizhan (Deniz Firat), Firat News Agency

     August 8, 2014, in Makhmur District, Iraq

Sameh al-Aryan, Al-Aqsa TV

     July 30, 2014, in Shijaiyah, Gaza, Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory

Rami Rayan, Palestine Network for Press and Media

     July 30, 2014, in Shijaiyah, Gaza, Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory

Khaled Reyadh Hamad, Continue Production Films

     July 20, 2014, in Gaza, Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory

Anatoly Klyan, Pervy Kanal

     June 30, 2014, in Donetsk, Ukraine

Yusuf Ahmed Abukar, Radio Ergo, Mustaqbal Radio

     June 21, 2014, in Mogadishu, Somalia

Ahmed Hasan Ahmed, Xinhua News Agency

     June 20, 2014, in Damascus, Syria

Edgar Pantaleón Fernández Fleitas, Belén Comunicaciones

     June 19, 2014, in Concepción, Paraguay

Igor Kornelyuk, VGTRK

     June 17, 2014, in Metallist, Ukraine

Khalid Ali Hamada, Al-Ahad TV

     June 15, 2014, in Diyala province, Iraq

Muftah Bu Zeid, Brnieq

     May 26, 2014, in Benghazi, Libya

Andrea Rocchelli, Cesura photo agency

     May 24, 2014, in Andreyevka, Ukraine

Camille Lepage, Freelance

     May 2014, in Bouar region, Central African Republic

Fausto Gabriel Alcaraz Garay, Radio Amambay

     May 16, 2014, in Pedro Juan Caballero, Paraguay

Mouaz Alomar (Abu Mehdi Al Hamwi), Freelance

     April 25, 2014, in Kafr Zita, Hama province, Syria

Bilal Ahmed Bilal, Palestine Today TV

     Unknown, in Sednaya, Syria

Anja Niedringhaus, The Associated Press

     April 4, 2014, in Khost, Afghanistan

Mayada Ashraf, Al-Dustour

     March 28, 2014, in Cairo, Egypt

Nils Horner, Sveriges Radio

     March 11, 2014, in Kabul, Afghanistan

Muthanna Abdel Hussein, Al-Iraqiya

     March 10, 2014, in Hilla, Babil province, Iraq

Khaled Abdel Thamer, Al-Iraqiya

     March 10, 2014, in Hilla, Babil province, Iraq

Ali Mustafa, Freelance

     March 9, 2014, in Aleppo, Syria

Omar Abdul Qader, Al-Mayadeen

     March 8, 2014, in Deir Al-Zour, Syria

Gregorio Jiménez de la Cruz, Notisur and Liberal del Sur

     Between February 5 and 11, 2014, in Las Choapas, Veracruz, Mexico

Turad Mohamed al-Zahouri, Freelance

     February 20, 2014, in Arsal, Lebanon

Vyacheslav Veremiy, Vesti

     February 19, 2014, in Kiev, Ukraine

Germain Kennedy Mumbere Muliwavyo, Radio Télévision Muungano

     February 16, 2014, in Oïcha, Democratic Republic of the Congo

Pedro Palma, Panorama Regional

     February 13, 2014, in Miguel Pereira, Brazil

Santiago Ilídio Andrade, Bandeirantes

     February 10, 2014, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Firas Mohammed Attiyah, Fallujah TV

     January 20, 2014, in Khalidiya, Iraq

Shan Dahar, Abb Takk Television

     January 1, 2014, in Larkana, Pakistan

8 Media Workers Killed in 2014

  Ali Abu Afash, Freelance

     August 13, 2014, in Beit Lahiya, Gaza, Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory

Mohammed Nour al-Din al-Deiri, Palestine Network for Press and Media

     July 30, 2014, in Shijaiyah, Gaza, Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory

Hamid Shihab, Media 24

     July 9, 2014, in Gaza City, Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory

Anton Voloshin, VGTRK

     June 24, 2014, in Metallist, Ukraine

Andrei Mironov, Memorial

     May 24, 2014, in Andreyevka, Ukraine

Waqas Aziz Khan, Express TV

     January 17, 2014, in Karachi, Pakistan

Mohammad Khalid, Express TV

     January 17, 2014, in Karachi, Pakistan

Ashraf Arain, Express TV

     January 17, 2014, in Karachi, Pakistan

11 Journalists Killed in 2014/Motive Unconfirmed

Nery Francisco Soto Torres , Canal 23, Radio Full FM

     August 14, 2014, in Olanchito, Honduras

Jorge Torres Palacios, Dictamen, Libertad Guerrero Noticias

     May 29, 30, 31, June 1, or 2, 2014, in Acapulco, Mexico

Nilo Baculo, dwIM Radyo Mindoro

     June 9, 2014, in Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro province, Philippines

Tarun Kumar Acharya, Kanak TV, Sambad

     May 27, 2014, in Odisha state, India

Samuel Oliverio, Radio Ukay, Supreme Radio

     May 23, 2014, in Digos City, Philippines

Richard Nadjid, dxNN

     May 4, 2014, in Bongao, Philippines

Rubylita Garcia, Remate

     April 6, 2014, in Bacoor City, Philippines

Shah Alam Sagar, Oporadh Domon

     March 2, 2014, in Dhaka, Bangladesh

Ijaz Mengal, Daily Intekhab

     February 14, 2014, in Khuzdar, Pakistan

Suon Chan, Meakea Kampuchea

     February 1, 2014, in Kampong Chhnang province, Cambodia

Noor Ahmad Noori, Bost

     January 23, 2014, in Lashkar Gah, Afghanistan 

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