Watchdog: 94 Media Professionals Killed in 2023

Watchdog: 94 Media Professionals Killed in 2023
Image copyright: Alexi J. Rosenfeld/Getty Images News via Getty Images

The Facts

  • 94 journalists have been killed doing their jobs — and around 400 imprisoned — so far in 2023, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) said Friday.

  • The Israel-Hamas war this year has led to the deaths of more journalists than any conflict in the past three decades, the Paris-based organization said, expressing deep concern for the safety of media members reporting in conflict zones.

The Spin

Narrative A

The death of scores of media personnel in conflict-hit regions like the Middle East and Eastern Europe demonstrates both the courage of the professionals as well as a blatant disregard for civilian life among the warring factions. Even if not all allegations of "systematic targeting" of journalists can be proved, there are numerous high-profile cases. The plight of journalists worldwide to report objectively in conflict zones is vital to civil society and media members cannot become collateral damage.

Narrative B

The dangers facing journalists on the front lines are overwhelming. It may be tempting for warring parties to offer a "safer" alternative — "embedded journalism," which we have seen in the Israel-Hamas war and dating back decades. Integrating journalists into military operations can reduce media casualties, but it comes with the price of distorted information reflecting state and corporate interests. It's important to avoid the temptation of pursuing embedded journalism as a solution to the perils of reporting on the world's most deadly conflicts.

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