Press freedom group publishes book of last stories written by murdered journalists

Press freedom group publishes book of last stories written by murdered journalists

The Committee to Protest Journalists on Wednesday unveiled a new book memorializing murdered journalists by publishing their final works.

The book, titled "The Last Column," includes a story by Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, who was killed last year after entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. It features the final columns and stories written by 24 journalists before they were killed in their line of work.


"We're currently living in one of the most dangerous times for journalists, with reporters being imprisoned in record numbers and murders on the rise. We can't allow violent forces to determine what we know about the world," said Courtney Radsch, advocacy director of the Committee to Protect Journalists.

"With 'The Last Column', we hope to inspire everyone to learn more about these brave journalists, celebrate freedom of the press, and protect those out there who continue to inform their communities in the face of threats and hardship."

The nonprofit organization, which promotes worldwide press freedom, has found that nine out of 10 journalist murders go unpunished. An estimated 1,337 journalists have been killed on the job since 1992.

The book includes the final works of journalists including Daniel Pearl of The Wall Street Journal, who was kidnapped and beheaded by terrorists in Pakistan in 2002, and Marie Colvin, who died covering the 2012 siege of Homs in Syria for The Sunday Times of London. 

It is also accompanied by short documentaries online featuring the family members of slain journalists. Colvin's sister, Cat Colvin, describes her sister's rise to prominence as a foreign correspondent before her death.

“She never wanted any other career,” Colvin said of her sister. “She really lived to try to bring more reality to what she was seeing around her to try to express it. In a way, she did die doing what she loved. The horror of it is it wasn’t accidental. She knew she was getting into danger. She did not know she was being targeted.”

"The Last Column" also includes the last piece written by Khashoggi, the U.S.-based Saudi journalist who was last seen entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2. The Saudi government claims the murder was committed by rogue agents during an interrogation that went off track.

The U.S. intelligence community has reportedly determined that the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the death of Khashoggi following his frequent criticism of the government.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpUSAID administrator tests positive for COVID-19 Kamala Harris, Stacey Abrams among nominees for Time magazine's 2020 Person of the Year DOJ appeals ruling preventing it from replacing Trump in E. Jean Carroll defamation lawsuit MORE stopped short of echoing that determination last year.

"It could very well be that the Crown Prince had knowledge of this tragic event — maybe he did and maybe he didn’t! That being said, we may never know all of the facts surrounding the murder of Mr. Jamal Khashoggi," Trump said in a statement last year.  

Members of the Trump administration briefed the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Monday about the investigation into Khashoggi’s death, but lawmakers said it was underwhelming.

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamClyburn: Biden falling short on naming Black figures to top posts Feinstein departure from top post sets stage for Judiciary fight Spokesperson says Tennessee Democrat made 'poor analogy' in saying South Carolina voters have extra chromosome MORE (R-S.C.), a member of the panel, called the briefing a "waste of time," while Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyBiden teams to meet with Trump administration agencies Paul Ryan calls for Trump to accept results: 'The election is over' Trump transition order follows chorus of GOP criticism MORE (R-Utah) added that lawmakers "learned very little."