A journalist has been killed every four days for the past decade, according to UNESCO, and they are increasingly being targeted.

A staggering 66 journalists and media worker’s have died doing their job so far this year.

The Alliance for Journalist’s Freedom (AJF) spokesperson, Peter Greste, the Australian journalist once imprisoned by Egypt for 400 days, said: “Journalist killings have a chilling effect amongst other journalists, who often self-censor their work to stay alive. This has serious implications for press freedom, democratic oversight, and public debate.”

On World News Day, which in 2022 is devoted to highlighting the impact of journalism, Central News looks at some recent examples from here and around the world of journalists under threat.


After reporting on the rising violence in Port-au-Prince, reporters Tayson Latigue and Frantzsen Charles were ‘ambushed by two warring gangs’.

They were brutally shot, and their bodies were burnt, and not recovered. Dieudonne St-Cyr, a reporter with Haiti’s Association of Independent Journalists, told radio station Métropole Haiti that five other reporters were targeted but unharmed.

Killings have increased in Haiti, as rival gangs Chen Mechan and 400 Mawozo have grown powerful following the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse in 2021. Two journalists were similarly shot in January in the same province while reporting on violence in Haiti, and another journalist has gone missing in this area.

UN spokesman Stéphane Dujarric, said: “This is just one more example of what journalists all over the world face and, sadly, we may expect the impunity with which they are murdered for just trying to tell the truth.”


The Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh who reported from the Middle East for over 25 years, was shot dead in May while covering an Israeli army raid in the West Bank.

At the time of her death, Israel claimed the shots were from Palestinian militants or Israeli positions returning fire. However, a Forensic Architecture and Al Haq investigation showed no armed Palestinian militants nearby, and that each shot was “aimed above the shoulders with the intent to kill the targets”. The report concluded that there was a “deliberate and repeated targeting of Shireen by the Israeli Occupying Forces”.

Greste, a former Al Jazeera correspondent, said:” Despite the global outrage, and a UN investigation that squarely blamed the Israeli military, I do not expect that anyone in Israel will be held to account. This is in line with perhaps the most troubling statistic of all: impunity – the number of killings that have gone unpunished – stands at a staggering 87 per cent.

“That indicates the authorities are either complicit, or don’t care. It is an indictment of officials and will have an ongoing chilling effect on journalism.”


“They [Journalist killings] fluctuate depending on violent crises around the world. The CPJ’s statistics show that the war in Ukraine is the main contributor, with ongoing violence in Mexico a close second.” Chart by Statista


A Reporters Sans Frontiers (Reporters Without Borders) investigation was held into the death of Maks Levin, who disappeared in March.

The Ukrainian photojournalist sent one final voice message to his girlfriend on March 13 before going to a Russian army base to find his drone. He lost the drone while recording the destruction in the city of Kyiv for media outlets.

On April 1, Levin, and his soldier friend Oleksiy Chernyshov’s bodies were found in a forest in Huta-Mezhyhirs’ka, a village approximately 30km from Kyiv.

The investigation concluded they were “executed, possibly after being interrogated and tortured [by Russian soldiers]”.

Meanwhile, the Ukrainian Myrotvorets (or Peacemaker) website has listed thousands of journalists, deemed enemies of Ukraine, on a hit list that includes their addresses and other personal information.

Robert Mahoney, the director of the Committee to Protect Journalists, told The Guardian: ‘It is very difficult to draw a direct connection between any of these killings except to say that it has become – and is becoming, I believe – more dangerous to do independent journalism.”


When it comes to murders Greste said: “The Asia-Pacific region has relatively low numbers.” Despite this, 294 journalists have been imprisoned as of December 31 last year, the highest number since 1992.

“This suggests that governments are increasingly regarding journalism as a threat, with no evidence that the situation is likely to improve,” added Greste.

Main image by Knight Foundation/Flickr.