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Hayward: Report Claims U.S. Now One of Deadliest Countries for Journalists


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Press advocacy group Reporters Without Borders (known by its French acronym RSF) released on Tuesday the 2018 edition of its annual “Worldwide Round-up of Journalists Killed, Detained, Held Hostage, or Missing in 2018.”

The media immediately went crazy with the presence of the United States for the first time ever on the list of five most dangerous countries, even though the slain American journalists in question were killed by a deranged gunman and a falling tree, not agents of the government or a terrorist organization.

Reporters Without Borders introduced its report as a “round-up of abusive treatment and deadly violence against journalists” in which pains are taken to distinguish between “journalists who were deliberately targeted and those who were killed while reporting in the field.”

These guidelines make it difficult to understand why RSF would announce with great fanfare that the United States “joined the ranks of the world’s deadliest countries for the media this year,” discussing that dubious distinction immediately after talking about journalists deliberately murdered by oppressive forces such as criminal gangs and extremist groups in Mexico and India.

The report promptly and unambiguously explained that none of the six American victims were killed as a result of oppressive government action, organized terrorist violence, or any sort of “climate of hatred” whipped up against journalists since the 2016 election:

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.

This did not stop NBC News from reporting on the RSF publication in a way that created a false linkage between the American deaths and journalists killed for political reasons – most prominently Jamal Khashoggi, of course:

The world’s five deadliest countries for journalists include three — India, Mexico and, for the first time, the United States — where journalists were killed in cold blood, even though those countries weren’t at war or in conflict, the group said.

“The hatred of journalists that is voiced … by unscrupulous politicians, religious leaders and businessmen has tragic consequences on the ground, and has been reflected in this disturbing increase in violations against journalists,” Secretary-General Christophe Deloire said in a statement.

Khashoggi, a royal insider who became a critic of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and began writing for The Washington Post after moving to the United States last year, was killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, in October.

“United States Added to List of Most Dangerous Countries for Journalists for First Time,” howled the NBC headline. Similar headlines could be found at the Hill, Fortune, and Time.


Because their feelings get hurt more than they do, or something...

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