The numbers alone are dreadful. Journalists are being killed in the Israel-Hamas war at the rate of more than one every day since 7 October – at least 53 so far, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists, or CPJ.
This has been the deadliest period for journalists in the 30 years since the New York-based organization began keeping these dire statistics.
But, of course, it’s not all about the numbers.
There’s also the reality that the loss of journalists translates into less information. And that lies and propaganda love a void.
And, of course, there are the people themselves. Each with a life, a career, a family, hopes and a mission – now cut short.
It may help understanding to name some of the victims. According to CPJ, they include people like Roshdi Sarraj, a journalist and co-founder of Ain Media, a Palestinian company, who was killed in an Israeli airstrike in Gaza.
Or the Israeli journalist Roee Idan, a photographer for the newspaper Ynet. He and his wife were killed in the Hamas attack on 7 October. He was working when he died. His four-year-old daughter, held hostage by Hamas for seven weeks, was released on Sunday.
Or Issam Abdallah, a Beirut-based videographer for Reuters, the international news agency, who was killed near the Lebanon border while documenting the shelling between Israeli forces and the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah.
“The world needs to know what is going on,” but that’s getting harder all the time, Clayton Weimers, the executive director of RSF (the international organization also known as Reporters Without Borders), recently said.
RSF’s representatives, in a meeting at the White House this week, urged Joe Biden to do more to support journalists.
The overwhelming majority of the dead appear to be Palestinian journalists killed in Israeli airstrikes. As of Monday, the CPJ reports that of the 57 journalists and media workers known to have died during the current war, 50 were Palestinian, four Israeli and three Lebanese. [Continue reading…]