Media killing: 172 deaths last year

For the third year in succession, the International Federation of Journalists reports an extremely high number of deaths of journalists and people who work with them. Many killings were targeted attacks, some were crossfire casualties in war zones, and others were deaths in accidents. The IFJ total of 172 is again dominated by the body count of Iraqi journalists in a war that has now accounted for more than 250 media killings according to the IFJ’s affiliate the Iraqi Syndicate of Journalists.  Conflict areas like Somalia, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka also had high numbers of casualties as well.

In all of these countries, and it the rest of the world, local reports are the ones most vulnerable to violence. In Iraq all but one of the media workers killed was Iraqi.

“This year’s report again shows the tragic attacks on reporters, photographers, translators, delivery truck drivers and all other media workers remain at record levels and that there is a trend of high risk for media in many areas in the world,” said IFJ General Secretary Aidan White. “The Report reinforces our resolve to fight for justice in these cases and to ensure that journalists can work without fear for their safety.”

The conflicts in Asia made it the most dangerous region after the Middle East.

In non-conflict areas, especially in Latin American, journalists were killed for covering drug-trafficking and political corruption. In Africa, those reporting on political unrest were targeted.

Europe stands out as the safest region in the world but the death of a Russian journalists, the most dangerous European country for media, and well-known Turkish journalist Hrant Dink, show that safety problems still exist.

The IFJ counts the number of media deaths from information provided by regional offices, member unions and other reliable media sources. We check our numbers with other organisations and we compile them in co-operation with the International News Safety institute.

The IFJ updates its statistics whenever possible. For example, it recently added the case of an Afghan journalist killed in 2007 to the list, which has upped our tally for the year to 172 from the 171 cases we announced on December 31.

The full IFJ Report (in English)

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