Journalism as a high-risk profession

It’s not like being a lumberjack or a commercial fisherman, but being an American journalist does involve risk. We’ve just joined the list of the top 5 most dangerous nations for journalists! You can read the full report from Reporters Without Borders. It’s not a distinction to take pride in.

The report doesn’t place specific blame, but I suspect that having a wanna-be dictator who idolizes tyrants and urges his followers to target journalists might be playing an enabling role here.


  1. Jarred says

    The report absolutely places specific blame.

    The United States joined the ranks of the world’s deadliest countries for the media this
    year, with a total of six journalists killed. Four journalists were among the five employees
    of the Capital Gazette, a local newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland, who were killed on
    28 June when a man walked in and opened fire with a shotgun. He had been harassing
    the newspaper for six years on Twitter about a 2011 article that named him. It was the
    deadliest attack on a media outlet in the US in modern history. Two other journalists, a
    local TV anchor and cameraman, were killed by a falling tree while covering Subtropical
    Storm Alberto’s extreme weather in North Carolina in May.

    One lone gunman with a 6 year old twitter beef and a tree.

  2. euclide says

    One lone gunman and a tree
    And you can add the forest fire that killed a lot of people
    Conclusion : tree have to pass some background checks or be immediatly cut

    more seriously, these kind of annual counts are bogus when a small number of incidents creates a statistical deviation.
    Like when you use 2011 for the criminal statistics in Norway, 2015 in France or 2001 in the US

  3. joel says

    What Jarred and euclide said. This does NOT mean that the US is a particularly dangerous place to be a journalist. Our idiot President publicly insults journalists all the time – but that’s the biggest danger journalists face here. This year was a major aberration in the US stats, and rsf does a disservice by not saying that front and center.

  4. Zeppelin says

    The figures also aren’t adjusted for population or number of journalists working in each country, which makes them useless as a measure of risk.

  5. chrislawson says


    The report absolutely makes that clear. They divide journalists’ deaths into those who were targetted because of their work and those who were not. (About 60% of journalist deaths were targetted.) The four journalists killed at Capital Gazette were targetted. The fact that one infographic has been sucked into the media swirl without any of the surrounding explanatory context, and the fact that some people are conflating “targetted” with “victims of political assassination” is not the fault of RWB.

  6. rydan says

    @1 While I see you are defending Trump here keep in mind that he has done nothing to improve global climate change and in fact made it worse by withdrawing us from the Paris Agreement. So falling trees due to bad weather can still be pinned squarely on his shoulders even if we can’t blame his rhetoric in this one case.