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Magazine of the Chartered Institute of Journalists

CIoJ condemns killing of Lyra McKee

Press release
Release date: 24 April 2019

The Chartered Institute of Journalists condemns the appalling murder of the highly respected investigative journalist and author, Lyra McKee, while reporting on riots in Northern Ireland.

Lyra was 29 years old and an editor for the news site Mediagazer.

For many years her journalism had focused on community conflict and the legacy of ‘the troubles’ in Northern Ireland.

It is believed to be the first time a professional journalist has been killed covering a riot, or public order event in the United Kingdom.

The Institute said: “Our deepest condolences and heart-felt sympathy go out to Lyra McKee’s family, friends and professional colleagues.”

Reporters without Borders have just reported a world media freedom climate where hatred of journalists degenerating into violence is contributing to an increase in fear. That fear is tragically present in the United Kingdom.

Lyra was covering the unrest taking place in the Creggan area of the city of Derry/Londonderry.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland said it was treating the killing as a terrorist incident. The shooting is believed to have been carried out by ‘dissident republicans.’

Reporters Without Borders said: “the UK remained one of the worst-ranked Western European countries in the World Press Freedom Index, largely due to a heavy-handed approach towards the press, often in the name of national security.”

The Institute adds: “This shocking murder of a journalist while simply doing her job is a catastrophic blow to media freedom.”

Lyra McKee was author of ‘Angels with Blue Faces’ and had just signed a two-book deal with Faber & Faber. Her book, ‘The Lost Boys’, was due for publication in 2020.