‘Targeted Killings of Journalists Surged in 2020:’ Watchdog

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PARIS, 31 December 2020, (TON): More journalists are being killed outside of war zones, and the overwhelming majority of this year’s grim total of at least 50 dead were deliberately targeted, many of them murdered while investigating organized crime, corruption and environmental degradation, Reporters Without Borders said Tuesday.

Its tally of journalists and media workers killed in connection with their work by mid-December was just slightly lower than in 2019, when the press freedom group counted 53 dead, even though many journalists reported less from the field in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The group said 68% were killed outside of war zones this year. That confirms a trend noted by the group since 2016, when only four out of 10 deaths were in countries not at war.

Targeted killings of journalists surged in 2020, accounting for 84% of deaths, sharply up from 63% in 2019, the group said.

It again listed Mexico as the deadliest country for media workers, counting at least eight journalists killed there in connection with their work in 2020. Among them was Julio Valdivia, a newspaper reporter whose decapitated body was found in September in an area ridden with organised crime.

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