28 journalists killed worldwide across world
LONDON: At least 28 journalists have been killed while covering the news in 19 countries as we approach the mid-point of 2009.
INSI (International News Safety Institute) counts an additional 13 deaths in 10 countries where it is not yet clear whether the victim died as a result of their work as a journalist.
The worst countries are Pakistan (first with 3 deaths and equal first with Russia and Palestine in cases still under investigation), and Somalia, Sri Lanka, Mexico, Libya and Iraq with 2 deaths each.
There has been a welcome drop in casualties in Iraq, due to the general reduction of violence there. Iraq had been the worst killing ground in the world for journalists and support staff every year since 2003.
Reporters are fleeing fighting in Pakistan’s Swat valley. “Journalists love the thrill of working in conflict zones where they can cover events which change the course of history,” says Mazhar Abbas, the former Secretary General of the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ).
“Sadly, this no longer holds true for Pakistani journalists required to cover the war in the Swat valley where they face dire security threats. Every other day, there is news of journalists being killed or kidnapped, or threats to their families in the war-torn areas.” His words succinctly sum up the state of war coverage in Pakistan.
Getting the story in Pakistan and Afghanistan, especially for female journalists, can be more like a mission. According to a March report on press freedom in Afghanistan, the number of women training to be journalists there has sharply declined during the seven-year tenure of President Hamid Karzai. The report, issued by Reporters Without
Borders (RSF), says that in the past few years, the percentage of female journalism students in Herat, Afghanistan, has dropped from 70 percent to 30 percent.
Source: The News