Sky News' Mick Deane, killed in Egypt on Wednesday, became the 1,000th journalist killed in the line of duty since 1992, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. What was unusual about his death was that, unlike 674 of his colleagues, Deane wasn't murdered. And that details of his death are known, unlike an additional 400 reporters. And it seems unlikely that he was one of the quarter of them believed to have been killed by a government. Deane was shot amid the violence after the Egyptian military raided a protest camp in Rabaa Square in Cairo.
CPJ's website offers graphs of the causes and demographics of the reporters — overwhelmingly male, overwhelmingly killed while working in their home countries. Broken down by month, those 1,000 deaths, tallied since the CPJ started counting in 1992, look like this. (We'll get to that spike in November 2009 in a bit.)
Broken down by beat and cause of death, two things emerge. Seventy-eight percent of those killed covered war or politics; 67 percent of them were murdered.
The blue slice in the pie graph above shows the number of journalists killed in combat or by cross-fire. Breaking that out by country, you can see that those deaths occurred largely in Iraq and Syria. (Iraq leads all countries in journalist deaths since 1992.)
Somewhat more surprising is when you look at who is committing the murders. Nearly a quarter of those murders are believed to have been committed by government officials. That can be mapped as well.
While Russia and Brazil are noticeable for their assassination figures, the Philippines clearly stands out. Which brings us back to November 23, 2009. A candidate for office in that country, worried about his safety, invited dozens of journalists to join him as he went to file the paperwork for his candidacy. He assumed being surrounded by reporters would offer some security. It didn't. He and nearly three dozen journalists were killed.
Mick Deane's death — "Country killed: Egypt," "Type of death: Dangerous Assignment" — is less dramatic. It is equally worrisome.