Thursday, December 31, 2009

138 Journalists Died On The Job In 2009

In the past year, 138 journalists have died in the course of their work, the majority were murdered or killed.

The International Federation of Journalists reports that 113 were murdered or killed in other violence, while the remaining 24 died in work-related accidents.

The most recent journalist to be killed was Canadian Michelle Lang, who died in a roadside bomb blast in Afghanistan on Tuesday.

The report identifies the Philippines, Mexico and Somalia as the most dangerous countries for journalists to work in. Last month 31 journalists were killed in the Philippines after being abducted.

In Iraq, the worst country for fatalities among journalists over the past decade, five media workers were killed this year. The Federation argues that, in spite of a pledge by the UN Security Council in 2006, journalists are not given enough protection, especially in countries where armed conflicts are taking place.

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today called for more action from governments and the United Nations to protect media.

"Last year's drop in the murder rate of journalists has been short lived," said Jim Boumelha, IFJ President. "The devastating massacre of 31 journalists and media staff in the Philippines in November and fresh violence against colleagues in Mexico and Somalia have made this a year of terrible bloodshed for media."The IFJ list of work related media killings is coordinated with the International News Safety Institute (INSI) and contains 137 journalists and media personnel who died during 2009 against 109 killings recorded in 2008. Of these, 24 were accidental deaths while journalists were at work.

The question is whether governments are listening or ready to take their responsibilities seriously," said Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary. "There is no room for complacency and indifference. The crisis facing media threatens innocent lives and democracy itself."

As of 31 December, the IFJ recorded the following information on killings of journalists and media staff in 2009:

Targeted killings: 113

Accidental deaths: 24

Overall killed : 137

The deadliest region, for the second year running, was Asia Pacific with 52 journalists and media personnel killed. The Philippines have the region's highest death toll, following the 23 November Maguindano province which claimed 31 lives of media victims.Other countries with high numbers of media fatalities are:

Mexico 13
Somalia 9
Pakistan 7
Russia 6

In 2008, Iraq, India and Mexico were the most dangerous countries in the world. Russia has this year broken into the top five most dangerous countries.

The IFJ is supporting a campaign against impunity in the country and has launched an online database on cases of journalists' murders in collaboration with two leading Russian monitors of abuses against journalists; the Glasnost Defence Foundation and the Centre for Journalism in Extreme Conditions.

The list of journalists and media staff killed in 2009 is available here

The full IFJ report on journalists and media staff killed in 2009 will be published mid January 2010.

This year's death toll of 138 compares with 109 last year and 175 in 2007. This is another sign of the dangerous world we live in. Let's hope for a better 2010.

For more information, please contact IFJ:
Jim Boumelha, President: +44 1865723450
Aidan White, General Secretary: +32 478258669
Ernest Sagaga, Communications Officer: +32 2 235 22 07/+32 477 71 40 29

The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 125 countries around the world. The International Federation of Journalists is the world's largest organisation of journalists. First established in 1926, it was relaunched in 1946 and again, in its present form, in 1952.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Interesting story you got here. It would be great to read something more concerning that topic. The only thing it would also be great to see here is some photos of some gizmos.
Jeff Kripke
Cell phone jammers