By Barbara Falconer Newhall
We know about James Foley. And we know about Steven Sotloff.
But how many of us know about Rodrigo Neto, a Brazilian journalist and the host of the show “Plantão Policial” (Police Shift) on Rádio Vanguarda who died in 2013 after being shot by unidentified men on a motorcycle? According to the Committee to Protect Journalists Neto died—like Foley and Sotloff—in the line of duty, aggressively covering local police corruption.
In the Philippines: ‘Your Coffin’s Already Made’
And how many of us are aware of the death of Fernando Solijon, a radio commentator for DxLS Love Radio of Iligan City, Philippines? Solijon was shot and killed in 2013 after criticizing local politicians. On the day of his death, according to an account by the Committee to Protect Journalists, an anonymous caller threatened Solijon on the air with the words: “Your coffin’s already made.”
Reporters Without Borders reports 50 journalists killed around the world in 2014 so far—in places like Syria, the Philippines, Brazil and Palestine—in the course of doing their work. And that count doesn’t include media assistants and “netizen” citizen journalists.
The Newseum in Washington, D.C., maintains a memorial to journalists who’ve lost their lives on the job dating back to 1837. Right now the memorial bears the names of 2,256 reporters, photographers, broadcasters and executives from all over the world.
“The Journalists Memorial reminds us of the risks and sacrifices made by journalists around the world,” said Gene Policinski of the Newseum Institute. “Journalists face injury and threats, and some pay the ultimate sacrifice.”
Each year the Newseum rededicates its memorial and draws attention to some of the journalists killed on duty during the previous year. Earlier this year it added ten names.
From Mali to Russia: Journalists Killed
Akhmednabi Akhmednabiyev, Novoye Delo—in Russia
Yasser Faisal al-Jumaili, Freelance—in Syria
Mikhail Beketov Khimkinskaya, Pravda—in Russia
Mick Deane, Sky News—in Egypt
Ghislaine Dupont, Radio France Internationale—in Mali
Rodrigo Neto, Rádio Vanguarda and Vale do Aço—in Brazil
Sai Reddy, Deshbandhu—in India
Fernando Solijon, DXLS Love Radio—in the Philippines
Claude Verlon, Radio France Internationale—in Mali
Olivier Voisin, Freelance—in Syria
That’s only ten out of the 77 journalists that Reporters Without Borders estimates were killed world-wide in 2013. And that 77? They’re just the ones we know about.