For the first time, the United States has been ranked as one of the deadliest countries for journalists, according to Reporters Without Borders.
In an analysis by the organization, the US was tied with India as the fifth-most deadliest country for reporters in 2018 — after Afghanistan, Syria, Mexico and Yemen.
Six journalists were killed in the US out of the 80 media professionals that were killed this year, according to the report, which has been published annually by Reporters Without Borders since 1995.
“The hatred of journalists that is voiced, and sometimes very openly proclaimed, 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,” Reporters Without Borders Secretary General Christophe Deloire said in a statement, the Hill reported.
Four reporters in the US were killed during the mass shooting at the Capital Gazette in Maryland in June. A local news anchor and cameraman were also killed in North Carolina in May by a falling tree while covering the storm Alberto, Adweek reported.
Nearly half of the slain journalists were killed in countries that did not face conflict or war, according to Reporters Without Borders. Forty-nine journalists were “deliberately targeted” because their reporting threatened the interests of individuals in positions of power, the organization said.
Sixty journalists remain held hostage around the world.
President Donald Trump has frequently gone to war with the media, whom he has called “fake news” and “the enemy of the people” on numerous occasions. In October, Trump praised Montana congressman Greg Gianforte for body-slamming Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs last year.
Gianforte pleaded guilty to a charge of misdemeanor assault over the incident.
Last month, the White House yanked the press credentials of CNN anchor Jim Acosta, with Trump threatening to pull other reporters’ credentials if they didn’t show him “great respect.”
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