Imagery Analysis: Journalist deaths in Syria


Image from Spencer Adkins.

Many U.S. government officials and major U.S. news sources consider the fall of 2011 to be the point in which the Syrian Civil War began to gain momentum. From November 2011 to June 1, 2013 Syria has seen more deaths to journalists within its borders than has any other country. Since November 2011, Syria has seen thirty-eight journalist related deaths within its borders: thirty-three deaths (87%) being local (Syrian) journalists and five deaths foreign journalists. No American journalists are included in this list. Of the thirty-eight journalists killed in Syria, twenty-eight (74%) were killed in crossfire/combat, five (13%) were killed carrying out dangerous assignments (deaths while covering a demonstration, riot, clashes between rival groups, and/or mob situations), and four (11%) were murdered. Of the four murders, one was committed by a government official, one was committed by a military official, and two were committed by political activists. No persons or parties responsible for the murders have been charged or taken in to custody. Though this data is only based off of four murders, it is thought-provoking that half of the murders committed were by someone with government ties and half by political activists. The Syrian government and the Syrian rebels are fighting each other for two completely different purposes, but both had members of their forces who seemed to have found some purpose in the murdering of journalists. The fact that journalists are being murdered by both sides implies that both the Assad regime and the rebels find journalists complicit in the behavior of the opposing group.  Murders of journalists, as well as other types of journalist deaths, in Syria are unusually high due to the amount of media coverage in the country. This attention is due in large part to the Syrian civil war. If the Syrian civil war carries on as it has, current statistics suggest that the number of journalist deaths in Syria will continue to grow.

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