Dangerous Work

Journalist Deaths in Iraq and Around the World

Tue Nov. 1, 2005 3:00 AM EST

Steven Vincent’s death in August of this year highlights the increasing danger journalists face in Iraq. In just two and a half years, almost as many journalists—Iraqi, European, and, fewest of all, American—have been killed as were in ten years of conflict in Vietnam. As dangerous as it is, however, Iraq is not the only country where reporters simply doing their jobs have risked—and often lost—their lives in recent years, as these grim statistics show. —Jonathan Stein

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TOTAL JOURNALISTS DEAD, 1995-PRESENT

Year

Journalists Killed

Deaths in Most
Dangerous Country

Most Dangerous Country

1995

51

24

Algeria

1996

26

7

Algeria

1997

26

7

India

1998

24

4

Colombia

1999

36

10

Sierra Leone

2000

24

3

Colombia, Russia, Sierra Leone (tie)

2001

37

9

Afghanistan

2002

20

3

Colombia, Russia, Palestinian Territories (tie)

2003

39

14

Iraq

2004

57

24

Iraq

2005

38

18

Iraq

WORLD'S MOST DANGEROUS COUNTRIES FOR JOURNALISTS, 1995-PRESENT

Year

Journalists dead in Russia

Journalists dead in Colombia

Journalists dead in Algeria

Journalists dead in Iraq

1995

8

3

24

0

1996

6

1

7

0

1997

0

4

0

0

1998

2

4

0

0

1999

3

5

0

0

2000

3

3

0

0

2001

1

3

2

0

2002

3

3

0

0

2003

1

4

0

14

2004

2

0

0

24

2005 (as of 9/28)

2

1

0

18

TOTAL

31

31

33

56

TOTAL JOURNALISTS DEAD, IRAQ vs. VIETNAM, OVER TEN YEAR PERIODS

Year

Iraq Dead

 

Year

Vietnam Dead

1995

0

 

1965

5

1996

0

 

1966

2

1997

0

 

1967

2

1998

0

 

1968

9

1999

0

 

1969

2

2000

0

 

1970

17

2001

0

 

1971

6

2002

0

 

1972

6

2003

14

 

1973

2

2004

24

 

1974

1

2005

18

 

1975

7

TOTAL

56

 

TOTAL

59

A death is included on this list only if research confirms or strongly suggests that a journalist was killed in direct reprisal for his or her work or in cross fire while carrying out a dangerous assignment. Journalists killed in accidents—such as car or plane crashes—are not included unless the crash was caused by hostile action. This applies for all data in this file.

Iraq deaths source: Committee to Protect Journalists
Vietnam deaths source: Freedom Forum

Note: Two journalists have disappeared in the Iraq War. They are not counted here. Missing journalists from Vietnam are considered dead.

Of the 340 journalists killed from 1995-2004, only nine were Americans.

Six provincial radio reporters were in killed in the Philippines in 2004 alone.

Of the 340 journalists killed from 1995-2004, only 19 were female.

Of the 56 journalists killed in Iraq, 51 have been male and five female.

Of those 56, 33 were killed by insurgent action, 13 were killed by US fire, and 10 died from other or unknown hostilities.

Columbia has killed a few journalists every year for decades. But from 1986-present, slightly fewer journalists have died in Columbia than in the two years of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Four journalists were killed in the first Iraq War. Five were killed in the Islamic Revolution in Iran.

Over 80 journalists were killed or "disappeared" in Argentina from 1976-1977. During the military regime of 1976 to 1983, thousands of Argentines, including journalists, were imprisoned, tortured and killed without trial. Many have never been found; they are now called “the disappeared ones.”

Thirty-five journalists were killed in a two year period during the Guatemalan civil war.