Deaths Among Journalists Up 244 Percent in Five Years

January 07, 2008 10:58 AM
by findingDulcinea Staff
A Reporters Without Borders report charts a rise in the number of journalists killed while working in the field; following from findings that show that for many, freedom of press is not an inalienable right.

30-Second Summary

A recently released report from Reporters without Borders shows Iraq, Somalia and Pakistan as the deadliest countries for journalists.

In particular, the report highlights the high number of journalists killed in Iraq last year: 47. In Iraq, insurgents are deliberately targeting journalists.

According to the report, "No country has ever seen more journalists killed than Iraq, with at least 207 media workers dying there since the March 2003 U.S. invasion—more than in the Vietnam War, the fighting in ex-Yugoslavia, the massacres in Algeria or the Rwanda genocide.”

The report also found that 877 journalists were arrested, 1,511 journalists were physically attacked or threatened, and 67 journalists were kidnapped.

The findings echo those of a 2007 report from the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists, which recorded 64 journalists killed in 2007, which was the deadliest year for journalists since 1994.

In addition, in March 2007, the International News Safety Institute reported that between 1996 and 2006, Russia was the second-most dangerous place for reporters after Iraq.

The rising mortality rate for journalists is especially distressing when considered in the context of the number of countries that place small value on freedom of speech. A month ago, the BBC reported that in a global poll, only 56 percent of respondents judged that freedom of the press was "very important to ensure a free society."

Headlines: Reporters Without Borders' findings

Background: Other reports on press freedom and security

The Committee to Protect Journalists
'World ‘divided’ on press freedom'
The International News Safety Institute report

Key Players: Prominent reporters kidnapped or killed

Ivan Safronov
Anna Politkovskaya
Anna Politkovskaya, a reporter known for her Chechen war coverage and opposition to Putin, was murdered in 2006. While Shamil Burayev, a former Chechyen politician, was charged with her murder, several reporters, including The Moscow Times journalist Yulia Latynina, have speculated that Politkovskaya’s murder could be traced back to the Russian government. Latynina writes that the murder was “absolutely not the style of hired killers; it is much more the modus operandi of a government law enforcement agency.”
Allen Johnston

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