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June 20, 2022

The UK journalists killed doing their jobs since 2000

By Dominic Ponsford and Charlotte Tobitt

Dom Phillips has become the 16th UK journalist to be killed since 2000 in the course of reporting.

Phillips and an expert accompanying him, Bruno Araujo Pereira, went missing in a remote area of the western Amazon rainforest in Brazil on Sunday 5 June in the course of reporting for a book on deforestation and its potential solutions.

Two bodies were found and it was confirmed on Friday 17 June that dental records had identified one of them as Phillips.

Phillips’ family have said he was “lost doing the important job of investigative journalism”.

Since 2000, 16 UK journalists (including US-born Marie Colvin) have been killed in the course of their reporting – mostly during conflicts.

Three of those were killed covering the wave of uprisings and violence which erupted across the Middle East from early 2011 – Sky News cameraman Mick Deane, freelance photographer Tim Hetherington, and Sunday Times foreign correspondent Colvin.

Two were killed inside the UK: Lyra McKee in 2019, and Martin O’Hagan in 2001, both in Northern Ireland.

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Here is the list of UK-based journalists killed since 2000:

Martin O’Hagan, 51

Lurgan, Co Armagh, Northern Ireland

28 September 2001

O’Hagan was an investigative journalist who worked for the Dublin and Belfast-based Sunday World. He was shot while walking home from his local pub after refusing to bow to pressure to stop publishing stories about the activities of Loyalist gangsters. The Loyalist Volunteer Force claimed responsibility for his murder but nobody has been prosecuted.

Roddy Scott, 31

Galashki Region, Ingushetia, Russia

26 September 2002

Scott was a freelance cameraman working for Frontline television news agency. He was killed in the Russian republic of Ingushetia during a clash between Russian forces and the Chechen group with which he was travelling.

Terry Lloyd, 50

Al-Zubayr, Iraq

22 March 2003

Lloyd was a correspondent for ITV News and had been working as an independent reporter not embedded with military forces. He was caught in crossfire between Iraqi and US troops. An inquest recorded the verdict of “unlawful killing by US forces”.

James Miller, 35

Rafah, Gaza Strip, Israel

2 May 2003

Miller was a freelance cameraman who was filming a documentary for HBO on the Israel-Palestine conflict. He was killed by Israeli troops who continued to fire after the reporter he was with shouted “we are British journalists”. An inquest concluded he had been murdered, but no Israeli soldiers were prosecuted.

Richard Wild, 24

Baghdad, Iraq

5 July 2003

Wild was an inexperienced freelance journalist who had travelled to Iraq to cover his first war. He was shot dead whilst hailing a cab outside Baghdad Museum. The gunman was never found and it is believed that Wild had not been carrying a camera or anything to identify him as a journalist.

Simon Cumbers, 36

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

6 June 2004

Cumbers was a freelance Irish cameraman working for the BBC. He was shot dead in the Saudi capital Riyadh by suspected al-Qaeda sympathisers. Frank Gardner, BBC security correspondent, was also seriously injured in the attack.

Kate Peyton, 39

Mogadishu, Somalia

9 February 2005

Peyton had just arrived in Somalia to film a series of reports on the war-torn country. She was shot outside a hotel having been targeted by what is now believed to have been gunmen with links to al-Qaeda. A coroner later ruled that she had felt under pressure from the BBC and had feared that she would lose her job if she had refused to take on the dangerous assignment.

Paul Douglas, 48, and James Brolan, 42

Baghdad, Iraq

29 May 2006

Douglas, a cameraman, and his soundman Brolan, were working for CBS and embedded with the US Army’s 4th Infantry Division. They were killed by a car bomb, which exploded whilst they were on patrol with American and Iraqi soldiers.

Martin Adler, 47

Mogadishu, Somalia

23 June 2006

Anglo-Swedish journalist Adler was a former contributor to Channel 4 News, who was freelancing in Somalia for several Swedish newspapers. He was shot by an unidentified gunman while filming a demonstration in the capital, Mogadishu.

Rupert Hamer, 39

North-west of Nawa, Helmand Province, Afghanistan

9 January 2010

Hamer was defence correspondent for the Sunday Mirror, and had been embedded with US marines. He was killed by a roadside bomb which struck a patrol vehicle, also killing a US marine and an Afghan soldier. Sunday Mirror photographer Philip Coburn was seriously injured.

Tim Hetherington, 40

Misurata, Libya

21 April 2011

Hetherington was an acclaimed international photographer was killed by a mortar blast while covering fighting between local militia and forces loyal to Colonel Gaddafi. US photographer Chris Hondros, 41, died in the same incident.

Marie Colvin, 56

Homs, Syria

22 February 2012

The celebrated Sunday Times foreign correspondent was killed alongside French photographer Remi Ochlik as they reported on the plight of civilians in the besieged Syrian city of Homs. They were killed when the building they were in was shelled by Syrian government troops.

Mick Deane,  61

Cairo, Egypt

14 August 2013

The Sky News cameraman was shot and killed covering attacks by heavily armed government forces on largely unarmed protest camps in Cairo.

Lyra McKee, 29

Derry, Northern Ireland

18 April 2019

Freelance journalist McKee was shot while reporting on rioting in Derry. The New IRA has since admitted to being behind the killing. McKee had tweeted from the scene and spoken to journalist colleagues just minutes before she was shot.

Dom Phillips, 57

Near Atalaia do Norte, Brazil

5 June 2022

Freelance journalist Dom Phillips and Bruno Araújo Pereira, an expert on Brazil’s indigenous people who was accompanying him, were killed in June 2022 while researching a book.

Phillips, who had lived in Brazil since 2007, had written award-nominated journalism about deforestation in the Amazon for the likes of The GuardianThe New York Times and The Washington Post.

He and Pereira reportedly received threats the day before they were last seen.

Picture: Reuters/Ueslei Marcelino

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