2012 was the deadliest year for journalists in the field since monitoring began 17 years ago, according to an annual report released Wednesday by Reporters Without Borders.
88 journalists lost their lives while reporting in the middle of wars and bombings, or were killed on orders by corrupt governments, organized crime tied to drug trafficking and by Islamist militias, the report said.
“The reason for the unprecedented number of journalists killed in 2012 is mainly the war in Syria, the chaos in Somalia and Taliban violence in Pakistan,” said Christophe Deloire, Secretary-General of the nonprofit group. “The impunity enjoyed by those responsible for violations of human rights, in particular, the right to freedom of information, encourages the continuation of these violations.”
In places like Syria, where fighters loyal to President Bashar al-Assad have battled opposition forces for the past 21 months, professional journalists have faced difficulty and persecution while attempting to report. Amateur reporters, using mobile phone cameras and twitter feeds, have stepped in to tell the story of life in the conflict zones.
According to the report, 47 so-called citizen journalists were killed in 2012, compared with five in 2011. In Syria alone, at least 17 journalists, 44 citizen journalists and four media assistants lost their lives, the report said.
This is a 33 percent rise in journalist deaths since just last year.