Hundreds of journalists died in the line of duty all over the world in the last two decades alone. While some of them died in accidents, others were deliberately targeted and brutally murdered to stop them from reporting the truth. While the number of journalists dying in the line of duty is very high, there are countless others who’ve been threatened or seriously injured to silence their voice. Listed below are the top 10 journalists who died in the line of duty.
10. Johanne Sutton (Radio France Internationale):
Johanne was a reporter for Radio France Internationale and several other news magazines and television channels. He was killed on November 11, 2001 when Northern Alliance military convoy came under heavy fire from Taliban forces. Johanne was inside an armored personnel vehicle, moving close to the position of Taliban forces when a grenade hit it. It couldn’t be established whether he died on spot due to grenade attack or he was later executed by Taliban.
9. Sultan Mohammed Munadi (The NY Times):
Munadi, a journalist with The New York Times, died during a rescue mission by the British Army in Afghanistan on September 9, 2009. The army tried to rescue him and a colleague Stephen, both kidnapped by Taliban. It couldn’t be ascertained whether Munadi was killed by militants or he got shot by the army personnel.
8. Rupert Hamer (Sunday Mirror):
Once a well-known war correspondent, Rupert Hamer died in Afghanistan. He along with his cameraman Philip Coburn were traveling in a US army armored vehicle. The vehicle was hit by a bomb, killing Rupert and a US marine. Rupert was on his 5th visit to Afghanistan to report war stories for Sunday Mirror. He was 39.
7. Mirwais Jalil (BBC World Service):
Jalil was one of the key men responsible for covering the Afghanistan war for BBC. His war stories were considered to be highly credible by BBC viewers. Jalil, was kidnapped and murdered by mujahedeen groups who had been threatening him for a long time. Jalil was just 25 years old when he was murdered on July 29, 1994.
6. Saidan Shafi (Doordarshan TV):
A reporter with Doordarshan, a state run TV channel in India, Saidan Shafi was a key member of the team that produced Kashmir File, a weekly program based on investigative journalism. He along with his bodyguard was killed by separatist militants in Srinagar, Kashmir on March 16, 1997. Before his murder, Saidan was threatened by militants on many occasions for reporting stories they thought were biased.
5. Edgar Damalerio (Freelancer):
Raffaele Ciriello got hit by Israeli shell in central Ramallah during Palestinian uprising in 2002. He was the first foreign journalist who died on the line of duty during the Palestinian uprising. It was later reported that an Israeli tank opened fire at him and others around as soon as he took out the camera to record the visuals. The Israeli Army promised investigation after the news hit the front pages of several newspapers but refused to acknowledge the offensive later. Edgar was 42 when he died.
4. Tim Lopes (Rede Globo):
A Brazilian investigative journalist, Tim Lopes was abducted, tortured and killed by drug traffickers. At the time of his abduction, Tim was working on an investigative story in one of Rio’s slums where drug trafficking and child prostitution flourished. Inhuman torture and barbaric murder of this journalist enraged people all over the world and constant demands for greater security for journalists were made by various sections of the media. He was 50.
3. David Bloom (NBC):
An NBC correspondent, David bloom was known for giving a soldier’s view of the war. David faced a sudden death in the year 2003 when he was covering the US-Iraq war. It is believed that David died due to blockage in lung arteries when he was about to broadcast after the US Army finally got close to Baghdad. Many experts later opined that David died because he spent too long inside an army vehicle; cramped but committed to cover the war. He was 39.
2. Daniel Pearl (The Wall Street Journal):
While investigating links between Al-Qaeda, a notorious Pakistan based terrorist organization and an infamous shoe bomber named Richard Reid, Daniel Jacob Pearl was kidnapped and murdered on February 2002. At the time of his death, Daniel had Israeli and American citizenship. Daniel was held in captivity by militants and brutally beheaded by Khalid Sheikh Muhammed nine days later. Terrorists even released the gruesome video of his slaughter, causing large scale outrage and condemnation all over the world. He was 39.
1. Frank Capa (Mostly Freelance):
Frank Capa was one of the world’s best photojournalists and covered almost all the major wars 1936 to his death in 1954 including the World War II. Frank Capa was born Endre Friedmann, a Jew, who fled the growing Nazism in Germany and adopted an Americanized for better opportunities. He is best known for ‘Falling Soldier’ – a photograph taken during the Spanish Civil War of a soldier falling down presumably after being shot. His photographs of the Allied landings on D-Day give a detailed description of the event. He died from injuries suffered due to an accidental landmine explosion while photographing the First Indochina War on May 25, 1954.