Reprisal killings of journalists because of their work nearly doubled in 2018, bringing the total number of journalists killed on the job to the highest point in three years, a press advocacy group reported on Wednesday.
The October killing of the Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi by a Saudi hit squad in Turkey may have been the most prominent case, but journalists were targeted for death all over the world this year — including in the United States, where a gunman killed five people in a Maryland newsroom.
At least 53 journalists were killed worldwide, according to a database compiled by the Committee to Protect Journalists, a New York-based organization that keeps detailed records of deaths and imprisonments in the news profession.
Of those journalists, the database showed that at least 34 had been killed because of their work, compared with 18 in 2017. The database covered killings between Jan. 1 and Dec. 14.
More journalists were killed than in any year since 2015, when the total was 73, the database showed. At least 50 journalists were killed in 2016 and 47 in 2017.
The Committee to Protect Journalists monitors three categories of journalist deaths on the job: reprisal killings, deaths in combat or crossfire, and deaths on other hazardous assignments, such as riots.
The latest findings reinforced what press advocates have described as an increasingly dangerous and repressive climate for journalists nearly everywhere.
The deadliest country for journalists in 2018 was Afghanistan, where 13 were killed. That is the most in any year for Afghanistan since the Committee to Protect Journalists began keeping detailed track of