The number of journalists who were murdered this year for their reporting nearly doubled, according to a report released Wednesday by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).
Fifty-three journalists were killed in 2018 as of Dec. 14. From that number 34 were singled out for murder. The figure is up from last year when only 18 journalists were murdered for their work.
CPJ also included the killing of Jamal Khashoggi in the list of murders, which it blamed on the lack of international leadership when it comes to the safety of journalists.
The Saudi journalist and columnist for The Washington Post was killed after entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul in early October.
Saudi Arabia initially denied any role in Khashoggi’s disappearance before acknowledging he was murdered inside the consulate.
Time Magazine last week named Khashoggi along with other journalists, including Reuters journalists Kyaw Soe Oo and Wa Lone who have been imprisoned in Myanmar, as its Person of the Year.
The European Union is also facing problems with journalist safety, as Jan Kuciak, an investigative reporter looking into corruption in Slovakia was shot dead alongside his fiancee in February.
The committee is still investigating the death of Viktoria Marinova, who was raped, beaten and strangled to death in Bulgaria in October.
The most dangerous country for journalist remains Afghanistan, according to the report. A total of 13 journalists were killed there in 2018, the most in any year since the committee began keeping track of journalist deaths in 1992 .
The rising figure comes after a two-year decline, and the committee says it has led to a crisis in the world of journalism.
“The context for the crisis is varied and complex, and closely tied to changes in technology that have allowed more people to practice journalism even as it has made journalists expendable to the political and criminal groups who once needed the news media to spread their message,” the report added.