49 journalists were killed 2019

A total of 49 journalists were killed this year, 389 are currently in prison and 57 are being held hostage, according to the annual worldwide round-up of deadly violence and abusive treatment against journalists, released today by Reporters Without Borders (RSF). In its annual review, the Paris-based group found that the number of journalists killed in 2019 was the lowest since 2003, representing a "historically low" figure compared with an average of 80 journalists killed per year over the past two decades.

Some 63% of journalists killed worldwide were murdered or deliberately targeted, Reporters Without Borders added. In Mexico, 10 journalists were killed in 2019 - the same as in 2018. With at least 14 journalists killed in Latin America overall this year, the group noted that the region was now as deadly for reporters as the Middle East. In its report, Reporters Without Borders noted that a further eight journalists had been murdered in Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Honduras, Colombia and Haiti, but they had yet to be added to the annual roundup pending verification.

Natalie Southwick, the Central and South America program coordinator for New York-based NGO the Committee to Protect Journalists, told that while the region isn't a typical active war zone, "the rate of violence is equivalent."

"The frontier between countries at war and countries at peace is in the process of disappearing for journalists,” RSF secretary-general Christophe Deloire said. “We welcome the unprecedented fall in the number of journalists killed in war zones but, at the same time, more and more journalists are being deliberately murdered in connection with their work in democratic countries, which poses a real challenge for the democracies where these journalists live and work.”

Compiled by RSF every year since 1995, the annual round-up of abusive treatment and deadly violence against journalists is based on precise data covering the period from 1 January to 1 December. RSF gather detailed information that allows them to affirm with certainty or a great deal of confidence that the death, detention, abduction or disappearance of each journalist was a direct result of their journalistic work.

Find the reporting here and the report itself here