At least 70 journalists and media workers were killed while covering the news between January and June of this year; 15 of them died in Syria alone, according to a report released today by the International News Safety Institute (INSI) and conducted by the Cardiff School of Journalism. The number may be higher, as INSI reports that an additional 30 media workers were killed, but the organization was unable to confirm that their deaths were related to their work. By comparison, 56 journalists died on the job in the first seven months of last year, and a total of 124 died in the whole of 2011.
INSI, a coalition of new organizations, journalist support groups and individuals, is a non-profit dedicated to promoting the safety and security of journalists around the world.
INSI reports on all issues of safety for journalists, and not only the targeting of journalists by enemies of a free press. However, INSI Director Rodney Pinder says of today’s report, “Journalists are more than ever in the cross-hairs of the enemies of freedom.” Most of the journalists killed this year were shot or bombed. “Despite some encouraging international political moves to halt the murder, the gun and the bomb remain the favored method of censorship in far too many countries.”
INSI also notes that of the more than 1,000 journalists and media workers killed on the job in the past decade, “The great majority were born and raised in the land where they were killed. Foreign correspondents are the high profile casualties, but most victims are local.”
The full report is available on the INSI web site, www.newssafety.org.