How INSI compiles the casualty statistics

INSI’s casualty statistics are compiled by monitoring press reports of journalists and media workers killed around the world as a result of their job. Twice a year, the Cardiff School of Journalism checks and verifies the numbers and produces our Killing The Messenger report of media casualties. These reports also includes the numbers of arrests and prosecutions of those who kill journalists.

Assembling these statistics is an inexact science as it can sometimes be difficult to determine if a journalist has been killed for work or other reasons. Despite this occasional uncertainty, we believe our numbers accurately convey the huge scale of this under-reported problem – the murder, intimidation and censorship of those seeking to shine light in dark places.

Since mid-2016 INSI has included citizen journalists in our casualty figures, though we account for them separately in order to be as transparent as possible. We define a citizen journalist as ‘an individual who publishes journalism intended to benefit the community’. To be included they must be reporting news rather than opinion in places where censorship, self-censorship or war make traditional reporting impossible. We also try to read or listen to their work. Activists from countries too dangerous for professional journalists are included on a case-by-case basis as their reports are often the only way of knowing what is going on.