FACT CHECK: How Many Journalists Have Been Killed In 2018?

Brad Sylvester | Fact Check Editor

CNN anchor and correspondent Kristie Lu Stout claimed on Twitter that at least 43 journalists have been killed so far in 2018.

“2018 has been a brutal year for journalists. At least 43 journalists have been killed for their work so far,” she said Oct. 10.

Verdict: True

Stout’s source, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), reports that 44 journalists have been killed in 2018. Other groups which track the killing of journalists have slightly higher totals.

Fact Check:

Jamal Khashoggi, a contributor for The Washington Post, disappeared Oct. 2 after visiting the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul, Turkey. It’s widely believed that he was murdered there by Saudi agents in retaliation for his criticism of the Saudi government.

The incident has prompted some to tweet about the number of journalists killed around the globe each year. Some are killed incidentally while reporting from dangerous regions like war zones, while others are sought out and murdered in reprisal for their work.

In 2018, 44 journalists have been killed already, according to CPJ, a group which tracks journalist killings. (At the time of Stout’s tweet, the count was 43.) The organization’s database shows that anywhere from 42 to 76 journalists were killed in a given year over the last decade. This includes both professional and citizen journalists and excludes those who died in accidents like plane crashes.

Of the 44 journalists who died in 2018, 27 were directly targeted and murdered for their work, nine were killed in crossfire in a war zone and eight were killed while on other dangerous assignments. CPJ reports that an additional 18 journalists were killed, raising the total to 62, but the motive behind these killings has not been confirmed.

Reporters Without Borders (RWB) has its own tally. As of Oct. 16, 67 journalists had been killed, including 57 professional and 10 citizen journalists. Only those who were killed in connection with their work were counted. A RWB spokesperson told TheDCNF that over 40 were targeted murders.

A third source, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) lists the killing of at least 60 journalists. This includes targeted killings, crossfire killings and those who died in work-related accidents. Most were targeted and murdered for their work, an IFJ official told TheDCNF.

All three sources cite Afghanistan as the deadliest country for journalists in 2018. CPJ counts 12 journalists killed in the country, while RWB and IFJ report 13 deaths. A suicide bombing in Kabul that killed nine journalists on April 30 accounts for most of those killed.

Most of the deaths in Afghanistan can be attributed to groups like ISIS and the Taliban. RWB writes that many government officials are “unable to accept the principle of media independence, and the police and military have been implicated in several cases of violence against journalists.”

The number of journalists killed in the U.S. is uncommonly high this year due to the Capital Gazette shooting which left four journalists dead. From 2000 to 2017, five journalists were killed in the U.S. in connection to their work, according to CPJ records.

Follow Brad on Twitter

Have a fact check suggestion? Send ideas to [email protected]

All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact [email protected].

Brad Sylvester

Fact Check Editor
Follow Brad on Twitter Have a fact check suggestion? Send ideas to [email protected]