In a move that is motivated by everything political and nothing factual, the United States has been listed among the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists, according to NBC News.
In its annual report, the free-press advocacy group Reporters Without Borders lists the United States among countries like Mexico, India, Syria, India, and Afghanistan for being one of the most dangerous for journalists based on the number who died in the U.S. in 2018. Not one of the deaths they listed, however, had anything to do with the U.S. government. Four of the six deaths listed stemmed from the Capital Gazette shooting (performed by a crazed lunatic who had a beef with the newspaper); the other two were killed while covering a storm in North Carolina.
"The United States joined the ranks of the world’s deadliest countries for the media this year, with a total of six journalists killed," the group reports. "Four journalists were among the five employees of the Capital Gazette, a local newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland, who .were killed on 28 June when a man walked in and opened fire with a shotgun. He had been harassing the newspaper for six years on Twitter about a 2011 article that named him. It was the deadliest attack on a media outlet in the US in modern history. Two other journalists, a local TV anchor and cameraman, were killed by a falling tree while covering Subtropical Storm Alberto’s extreme weather in North Carolina in May."
Though Reporters Without Borders does not explicitly state it, the media has incessantly blamed President Trump's rhetoric toward the media for the Capital Gazette shooting this past summer.
"We won’t forget being called an enemy of the people," the Capital Gazette editorial staff said following the shooting. "No, we won’t forget that. Because exposing evil, shining light on wrongs and fighting injustice is what we do."
"Our community has rallied around us to show they understand who we are, and that we are not the enemy of the people," it continued. "We are your neighbors, your friends. We are you."
Of course, all of these deaths are tragic, but Reporters Without Borders lists them among journalists who have been killed either by the hands of local officials or organized crime. While the group notes that it distinguishes "between journalists who were deliberately targeted and those who were killed while reporting in the field," it nevertheless lumps the United States among some strange bedfellows. Here is how the group describes the situation in Mexico, for instance:
In Mexico, which has many press freedom predators, journalists who cover stories related to political corruption (especially at the local level) and organized crime are often the targets of intimidation and attacks or execution-style murder. Because of the widespread corruption, impunity reigns and is reaching unprecedented levels, feeding the vicious cycle of violence. The protection provided to journalists who have been threatened is very often insufficient and ineffective.
The stories of journalists being killed in Mexico include the likes of website editor Rubén Pat, who was gunned down on the street after he requested urgent protection following the murder of a reporter in his employment. Another reporter, Mario Leonel Gómez Sánchez, was killed by gunmen on a motorcycle "the day after members of the Federal Mechanism for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists announced that the government was yet again cutting back funding for protection."
Listing the United States as one of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists seems like an underhanded smack at President Trump for his standoffish nature against what he describes as the "fake news media" and for his keeping the status-quo with Saudi Arabia following the murder of Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi.