The year 2012 is likely to be one of the deadliest for journalists around the world, with at least 67 killed while doing their jobs, a US-based media rights group said Tuesday.
The Committee to Protect Journalists said the number of deaths is up 42 percent from last year, due in large part to the Syria conflict, shootings in Somalia, violence in Pakistan and killings of reporters in Brazil.
“With 67 journalists killed in direct relation to their work by mid-December, 2012 is on track to become one of the deadliest years since CPJ began keeping detailed records in 1992,” the New York-based committee said.
The worst year on record for journalist killings was 2009, when 74 individuals were confirmed dead because of their work, nearly half of them slain in a massacre in Maguindanao province, Philippines, according to CPJ.
CPJ also said it was investigating the deaths of 30 additional journalists in 2012 to establish whether they were work-related.
“Internet journalists were hit harder than ever, while the proportion of freelancers was again higher than the historical average,” the group said in its yearly report.
Syria was by far the deadliest country in 2012, with 28 journalists killed in combat or targeted for murder by government or opposition forces, CPJ said.
In addition, one journalist covering the Syrian conflict was killed just over the border in Lebanon.
Worldwide, the vast majority of victims, 94 percent, were local journalists covering events in their own countries, a proportion roughly in line with historical figures.
Four international journalists were killed in 2012, all of them in Syria: Marie Colvin, an American who wrote for the Sunday Times of London; French freelance photographer Remi Ochlik; France 2 reporter Gilles Jacquier; and Japan Press journalist Mika Yamamoto.
Other organizations do separate calculations of journalist deaths.
Last year, Geneva-based Press Emblem Campaign said at least 106 journalists were killed in 2011, among them 20 who reported on the Arab spring uprising.