Death in pursuit of the news


Reporting: The Iraq war cost 13 journalists their lives

others died in the line of duty or in suspicious circumstances.

January 09, 2004

Last year was a particularly deadly one for journalists.

Reporters Without Borders, an advocacy group based in Paris, says that 42 reporters, photographers, editors and their assistants were killed in 2003, the largest number since 1995, when 49 were killed. That year, Algerian insurgents made journalists a particular target.

In 2002, 25 journalists were reported killed.

The Committee to Protect Journalists, based in New York, documented the killings of 36 working journalists last year.

The CPJ attributed the high number of casualties to the war in Iraq, where 13 journalists died. Iraq accounted for the most casualties from a single country since 24 journalists were killed in Algeria in 1995, according to CPJ figures.

The journalists in Iraq died because they were caught in the crossfire of war; those outside Iraq were deliberately targeted, usually in retaliation for critical reporting.

Following is a list of the journalists who fell in 2003, compiled by CPJ. More details can be found at


Nicanor Linhares Batista, Radio Vale do Jaguaribe, June 30; known for hard-htting commentaries; shot and killed while recording his daily show.

Luiz Antonio da Costa, Epoca, July 23; a photographer, he was covering a demonstration when three men who had just robbed a gas station shot him in the chest at close range; police say the robbers thought they had been filmed.


Chou Chetharith, Ta Prum, Oct. 18; known for critical reporting of officials; shot to death on his way to work.


Luis Eduardo Alfonso Parada, Radio Meridiano-70, March 18; often threatened for his reporting; shot by two gunmen near his office.

Guillermo Bravo Vega, AlpevisiM-sn Radio, April 28; accused public officials of mishandling funds; shot in his home.

Jaime Rengifo Revero, Olimpica Radio, April 29; critical of state security services, accused politicians of corruption; shot five times in the back.

Juan Carlos Benavides Arevalo, radio Manantial Estereo, Aug. 22; fired on, perhaps by a rebel group, when stopped at a checkpoint.


Hector Ramirez, Noti 7 television and Radio Sonora, July 24; covering a demonstration, he died of a heart attack after fleeing from protesters who began beating him.


Parvaz Mohammed Sultan, News and Feature Alliance, Jan. 31; shot in Kashmir, where militants have targeted journalists.


Ersa Siregar, Rajawali Citra Televisi, Dec. 29; killed in battle between military and rebels.


Zahra Kazemi, freelance, July 10; an Iranian-Canadian photographer, she was detained and died after being beaten in prison.

IRAQ: 13

Terry Lloyd, ITV News, March 22

Paul Moran, freelance, March 22

Kaveh Golestan, freelance, April 2

Michael Kelly, Atlantic Monthly, Washington Post, April 3

Christian Liebig, Focus magazine, April 7

Julio Anguita Parrado, El Mundo, April 7

Tareq Ayyoub, Al-Jazeera, April 8

Jose Couso, Telecinco, April 8

Taras Protsyuk, Reuters, April 8

Richard Wild, freelance, July 5

Jeremy Little, NBC News, July 6

Mazen Dana, Reuters, Aug. 17

Ahmed Shawkat, Bilah Ittijah newspaper, Oct. 28


Nazih Darwazeh, Associated Press Television News, April 19

James Miller, freelance, May 2


Jean Helene, Radio France Internationale, Oct. 21; shot by police while waiting to interview detained opposition activists.


Gyanendra Khadka, Rastriya Samachar Samiti, Sept. 7: a journalist with the state-owned news agency; murdered by suspected Maoist rebels.


Fazal Wahab, freelance, Jan. 21; criticized local religious leaders and Islamic militant organizations; shot by an unidentified gunman.


Apolinario "Polly" Pobeda, DWTI-AM radio, May 17; criticized corrupt local officials; shot on his way to work.

Bonifacio Gregorio, Dyaryo Banat weekly newspaper, July 8; wrote critical articles about local officials; shot in front of his house.

Noel Villarante, DZJV Radio and Laguna Score, Aug. 19; shot outside his house; wrote about corrupt officials and drug traffickers.

Rico Ramirez, DXSF Radio, Aug. 20; body found on the roadside; reported on corruption and drug trafficking.

Juan "Jun" Pala, DXGO radio, Sept. 6; known for criticizing communist rebel groups; shot while walking home with a bodyguard.


Aleksei Sidorov, Tolyatinskoye Obozreniye, Oct. 9; editor in chief of a provincial daily, he was the second editor of his paper to be murdered in the past two years; stabbed as he approached his apartment building.


Abdullahi Madkeer, DMC Radio, Jan. 24; accidentally shot in the stomach while covering the reopening of an airport when members of a militia fired on a crowd.


In 12 other deaths, the CPJ has not been able to confirm the motive. They include:


Oscar Salazar Jaramillo, Radio Sevilla, March 10; stabbed to death in his apartment.

Jose Emeterio Rivas, Radio Calor Estereo, April 6; his bullet-riddled body was found on a road outside of town.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.