Sunday, December 31, 2006

Shooting the messenger…deadliest year for journalists

The year 2006 was the deadliest on record for journalists and media workers worldwide, with at least 155 murders and unexplained deaths according to end of year figures just released by the International Federation of Journalists.

The IFJ which represents more than half a million journalists in more than 100 countries, says 68 media staff were killed in Iraq in the year, confirming it as the most dangerous place in the world to work, and bringing the total number of journalists killed there since the war began in March 2003 to 170.

Some journalists get caught in the line of fire, or course, but more sinister are those murdered for attempting to uncover the truth.

The IFJ highlights the killing of investigative journalist Anna Politkovskaya (pictured) in Moscow, the latest in a string of murders of journalists in Russia.

The award-winning investigative reporter with Novaya Gazeta was shot outside her apartment in Moscow on October 7.

More than 200 journalists had been killed in Russia since 1993. At least 40 of the murders since President Vladimir Putin came to power in 2000 have not been resolved.

The IFJ also highlights continuing attacks on journalists in Latin America, where 37 media staff were killed in countries like Mexico, Colombia and Venezuela.

Thirteen journalists died in the Philippines, raising the total of deaths in Asia to 34, the IFJ said.

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