Five media that have lost many journalists to violence

The entire world was appalled by the 7 January massacre at Charlie Hebdo, which cost the lives of eight journalists and added the Paris-based magazine to the long list of media around the world that have been the victims of horrific levels of violence.

Here, Reporters Without Borders spotlights five other news media that have seen many of their employees killed for doing their duty to provide news coverage and comment.

Al-Iraqiya: collateral victim of the Iraq war (Iraq)

With 14 journalists killed from March 2003 to August 2010, the Iraqi national TV station Al-Iraqiya paid a higher human price than any other news media during the Iraq war. And three more of its employees have been killed in connection with their work since the end of the US occupation. Al-Iraqiya is part of the Iraqi Media Network, which was created by the US government and then transferred to the Iraqi authorities, and which is still regarded as being allied with the ruling Shiite parties. As a result, Sunni rebels have targeted its employees, accusing them of being traitors. The war in Iraq was the deadliest conflict for media personnel since the Second World War, with a total of 230 journalists and media staff killed from the start of the US invasion in March 2003 to the withdrawal of the last US combat troops in August 2010.

Express News: targeted by the Taliban (Pakistan)

Renowned for its professionalism and liberal views, Express News TV saw six of its journalists and other employees murdered in 2014 alone. No one keeps count of the threats and attacks on its offices or the homes of its staff members any more. Most of the attacks have been claimed by the militant group Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), which sees Express News as an enemy because of its critical coverage. TTP is encouraged to pursue its campaign of terror by the impunity that prevails in Pakistan, one of the world’s deadliest countries for journalists.

Novaya Gazeta: the price of media independence (Russia)

The champion of independent investigative journalism in Russia, Novaya Gazeta pays dearly for the absence of the rule of law in this country, with five of its employees murdered since 2000. They include the famous Anna Politkovskaya and Natalia Estemirova, who tirelessly documented human rights violations during the two Chechen wars, and Igor Domnikov and Yuri Shchekochikhin, who covered corruption and organized crime. For the most part, the investigations into their murders failed to identify the masterminds.

Radio Shabelle: reporting amid chaos (Somalia)

Somalia’s best known radio station, Radio Shabelle is also the one that is most exposed to danger. No fewer than ten of its employees, including several of its managers, have been murdered since 2007. Islamist militias have repeatedly targeted it for refusing to bow to their demands. It is also hounded by the government, resulting in its temporary closure in August 2014. Despite death threats, imprisonment and the flight of many of its journalists into exile, Radio Shabelle continues to tackle the most sensitive stories. When Reporters Without Borders awarded its Press Freedom Prize to the station in 2010, Shabelle Media Network’s director for international relations, Ali Abdi, said: “We will not be intimidated. We are determined to continue our struggle for independent journalism and respect for human rights.”

Radio Television of Serbia: 16 killed by targeted NATO bombing (Serbia)

Sixteen employees of Radio Television of Serbia (RTS) were killed when NATO deliberately bombed its Belgrade headquarters on the night of 23 April 1999, during the Kosovo war. RTS general manager Dragoljub Milanovic was sentenced to nine and a half years in prison in 2002 for failing to order employees to evacuate the building. But NATO never provided any compensation and [never questioned the decision to bomb->[,04003.html-> RTS. The alliance regarded it as a “legitimate military target” because it was broadcasting propaganda.
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Updated on 25.01.2016