A report by Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) unveils that this year at least 43 journalists were killed around the world. Pakistan is this year’s deadliest nation, the same as in 2010. No less than seven journalists were killed here. Libya and Iraq were on the second place as the deadliest places for journalists, with five deaths, and Mexico followed closely with three deaths. CPJ mentioned on its website that is investigating another 35 death in 2011 to decide whether they were work-related.
Journalists, photographers and freelancers are equally vulnerable. “This is always a somber occasion for us as we chronicle the grim toll, remember friends who have been lost, and recommit ourselves to justice. It’s also a time when we are asked questions about our research and why our numbers are different – invariably lower – than other organizations”, CPJ Executive Director, Joel Simon, writes on CPJ website.
CPJ began compiling detailed records on all journalist deaths in 1992. The staff members are independently investigating and verifying the circumstances behind each death. The organization considers a death work-related only if “its staff is reasonably certain that a journalist was killed in direct reprisal for his or her work; in crossfire; or while carrying out a dangerous assignment”, according to the CPJ report.
At the same time, if the motives in a killing are unclear, but it there is the possibility that a journalist died in relation to his or her work, the organization classifies the case as “unconfirmed” and then continues to investigate. Different numbers among various press organizations and this is also CPJ case. Their list does not include journalists who have died from illness or were killed in accidents that were not caused by hostile action.
A final list of journalists killed in 2011 will be released in early January.