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More than a hundred journalists killed during 2008

5 January 2009

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has reported that 104 journalists were killed in work-related incidents during 2008.

The number dropped significantly following three years of record levels.

Iraq tops the list of countries where reporters face the most serious risks – followed by India and Mexico.

Jim Boumelha, IFJ President and a member of the NUJ's national executive council, said:

"This year's fall in the number of killings of journalist is good news. However, it provides little comfort to our colleagues around the world who continue to face risks to their life for doing their job."

In 2007, an all time record 179 journalists and media workers were killed.

The IFJ report indicates a reduction in both targeted and accidental deaths. The IFJ has co-ordinated its report with the International News Safety Institute.

Iraq, which has been the world's deadliest country for journalists and media staff since the American-led invasion in 2003, also sees this year's biggest fall in the murder rate of journalists with 65 killings in 2007 against 16 this year.

All those killed in 2008 were believed to be Iraqi nationals. It is estimated that 284 journalists have been killed in Iraq since April 2003.

According to the report's findings, local journalists covering national, local and community stories in peace time remain the main targets for deliberate attacks to intimidate and silence them.

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ Deputy General Secretary, said:

"It shows how bad things are when we are pleased that only 104 journalists were killed last year. One of the main problems the media faces is that many governments around the world do not launch serious investigations into the deaths of independent journalists.
"We must keep up the pressure to ensure that all these tragedies are properly investigated. And we must continue to support journalists who are trying to bring us the truth from embattled parts of the globe."

Tags: , journalists killed, ifj, press freedom, iraq