Number of Journalists Killed in the Line of Duty Highest Since 1994

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We all know and justly honor the sacrifices that the men and women in uniform make to protect liberty. But a good argument can be made that a free press may be even more vital to sustaining liberty. As Thomas Jefferson noted in 1816:

"The functionaries of every government have propensities to command at will the liberty and property of their constituents. There is no safe deposit for these but with the people themselves, nor can they be safe with them without information. Where the press is free, and every man able to read, all is safe."

Sixty-five journalists were killed in direct relation to their work in 2007, according to the year-end report of the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). Seventy percent of them were murdered. Thirty-two died while reporting in Iraq.

Go to the CPJ link listing those who died trying to report the news in 2007 here.

Disclosure: I make a small annual donation to support the CPJ's work.

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  1. Jefferson never considered that people’s bellies might be a little too full to care about all this information, though.

  2. It’s sad, don’t get me wrong, but I’m finding it hard not to bring up a punchline made by Margaret Cho…

    “So where’s my parade?”

  3. Without following the link, I’m going to guess that a lot of those folks were in Mexico.

  4. And yet Geraldo is as healthy as ever. Where’s the justice?

  5. Sam McManus,

    Don’t worry, the bellies won’t be full for much longer. Of course, by then it will probably be too late.

  6. And yet Geraldo is as healthy as ever. Where’s the justice?

    Seeing as he is some sort of animated homunculus, you won’t get any justice until you find and kill the wizard that created him.

  7. I was looking at the moving banner of [presumably] dead journalists, and I noted that being a journalist and having a muslim name seems to go hand-in-hand.

  8. Here’s the Breakdown by Country/Assignment
    And for those who just want the country breakdown:
    AFGHANISTAN: 2
    BURMA: 1
    ERITREA: 2
    HAITI: 1
    HONDURAS: 1
    IRAQ: 32
    KYRGYZSTAN: 1
    NEPAL: 1
    OCCUPIED PALESTINIAN TERRITORY: 1
    PAKISTAN: 5
    PARAGUAY: 1
    PERU: 1
    RUSSIA: 1
    SOMALIA: 7
    SRI LANKA: 5
    TURKEY: 1
    UNITED STATES: 1
    ZIMBABWE: 1

    Plus an additional 23 unconfirmed and 20 additional “media workers”.

  9. Paul – between Iraq, Pakistan, and Somalia, there are a lot of Muslim journos in the line of fire.

    Personally, I was surprised there was only one death in Russia.

  10. Baked,

    I re-read my original post, and lest it get misunderstood, what I really meant to say is:

    Being a _dead_ journalist and having a muslim name seems to go hand-in-hand.

  11. Personally, I was surprised there was only one death in Russia.

    I guess you don’t make the list if you’re locked up in a prison camp…

  12. The sole death in the U.S.:

    Chauncey Bailey, Oakland Post, August 2, 2007, Oakland

    A masked gunman dressed in black clothes approached Bailey, editor-in-chief of the Oakland Post and four other weeklies, on a street in downtown Oakland, Calif., as the journalist was on his way to work about 7:30 a.m. The assailant shot Bailey multiple times at close range before fleeing on foot, Oakland police spokesman Roland Holmgren told CPJ. Bailey was pronounced dead at the scene.

    Devaughndre Broussard, a handyman and occasional cook at Your Black Muslim Bakery, reportedly confessed to local authorities the next day. According to local press reports, Broussard said he was angered by Bailey’s coverage of the bakery and its staff; his attorney later maintained the purported confession was made under duress.

    ***

    Bailey, 58, a veteran television and print journalist in California’s Bay Area, covered a variety of issues including city politics, crime, and African-American issues. He had been named editor-in-chief in June.

  13. Some kinds of war profiteering are dangerous.

  14. The entry on the murder of Chauncey Bailey doesn’t do Your Black Muslim Bakery justice.

    It says:

    Your Black Muslim Bakery was a one-time hub of Oakland community activism whose surviving owners and staff had been tied to various criminal activities-including charges filed after the murder that involved the alleged kidnapping and torture of two women in May 2007.

    Actually, YBMB was “tied to various criminal activities” during the reign of founder Yusef Bey. These activities include the alleged rapes of 3 minor girls that were housed as foster children with Bey and one of his 30-odd “wives.”

    The Wikipedia account of a 1993 kidnapping & torture of a businessman and subsequent “hand to hand combat” with over 60 police officers is appalling:

    On March 4, 1994, Nedir Bey was involved in the torture and beating of a Nigerian home-seller in an apartment on the 500 block of 24th Street in Oakland, involving a real estate deal. The apartment complex served as a compound for the organization. The extremely violent incident also involved Abaz Bey. Abaz and Nedir Bey were both standing members of the African-American Advisory Committee on Crime, which also included then Oakland Mayor Elihu Harris. The committee had organized a massive conference on crime that same weekend, featuring Jesse Jackson as its keynote speaker.

    More:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Your_Black_Muslim_Bakery

    There is something very rotten in the City of Oakland.

  15. Ron-

    65? (With 32+ occurring in a “war zone”).

    Compare the “occupational death-rate” of ‘Journalists’ to ‘cab drivers’ or ‘convenience-store workers’.

    I guess that “barrel of ink” still matters…

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