2012 deadliest year for journalists

Posted Dec 19, 2012 by KJ Mullins
In the 17 years that Reporters Without Borders has been monitoring journalists who died in action 2012 has been the deadliest. This number also includes 47 citizen journalists.
In 2012 88 journalists and 47 citizen-journalists were killed for bringing the news to the people. That number is up thirty-three percent from last year. They died while covering wars, bombings, organized crime, Islamist militias and corrupt officials. Most of the citizen journalists slain in Syria where all but 44 were covering the war. Journalists in Syria are often branded as spies by the opposition.
Eighteen journalists died in Somalia this year. In September 7 perished, two in a 24-hour period.
A journalist died every month in Pakistan since February. Six were killed in Mexico and five more in Brazil.
“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,” Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Christophe Deloire said in the annual report released today. “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.”
Journalism has always been a dangerous career, silencing voices is one way that corrupt nations and leaders have used since the pen became a sword of truth. Journalists face imprisonment and death in many corners of the globe.
In 2012 879 journalists were arrested with 193 journalists residing in prisons as of December 18, 2012. As citizen journalism grows so does the number of arrests of bloggers. In 2012 144 bloggers and netizens were arrested.
Turkey has the most journalists in prison with at least 42 reporters and 4 media workers behind bars. Most are arrested on the grounds of combating terrorism. China arrested 30 journalists this year. More shocking is the number of citizen journalists that are currently behind Chinese bars. Sixty-nine citizen journalists were arrested for reporting on corruption or nepotism.
The African nation of Eritrea continues to arrest journalist for attempting to get news out of the country which has been cut off from the rest of the globe since September 2001. At least 28 journalists are in prison at this time. Journalists have not had the right to a trial and rarely if ever are allowed family visits.
There are 26 journalists and 17 citizen journalists being held in Iran. The prisoners family members have also been threatened if they speak to the media.
In Syria there are 21 journalists and 18 citizen journalists being held in prison where they face torture as authorities work to extract information in order to shut down media networks.
1993 sounds like a year but that is the number of journalists that were threatened or physically attacked this year.
For some journalists the only means of survival is to escape their homelands. In 2012 73 journalists fled their nations for personal safety.