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Teaching Journalists How to Survive

Journalists provide a vital public service, but they should not have to give up their lives to do it. We must not only seek justice for the brave journalists who have died in the line of duty, but also give current and future journalists the tools they need to stay safe.

ROCHESTER, NEW HAMPSHIRE – In 2014, two years after kidnapping my son, James Wright Foley, while he was working as a freelance correspondent in Syria, the Islamic State tortured and killed him. Jim’s murder underscored the extraordinary risks journalists take to report the news in dangerous areas – and the need for stronger action to protect them.

In 2018, 80 journalists were killed worldwide, with more than half having been deliberately targeted. While many of these crimes took place in conflict zones, especially Afghanistan and Syria, nearly half occurred in countries not at war, led by Mexico, India, and the United States, where four journalists were killed when a man opened fire in their Annapolis, Maryland, newsroom.

Journalists are not safe in Europe, either. In Slovakia, the 27-year-old Ján Kuciak was killed in his home, along with his partner, Martina Kušnírová, after investigating allegations of tax evasion and fraud involving high-ranking officials and businesspeople.