2014 was one of the most difficult years worldwide for those who were into journalism. According to a New-York based committee that was founded to protect journalists, 70 persons died in 2014 alone. Some of the big-name countries witnessed significant political instability at the time. With Syria finishing tops, as a minimum of twenty-eight journalists were killed within its territory. Based on a United Nations Report, the overall death toll of the Syrian conflict later skyrocketed well beyond 100,000.
Surprisingly, Mexico failed to make its way to the list as no journalist-related deaths were officially recorded that year. CPJ’s list is the most straightforward way to know how journalists are being treated in every nation. Here are the Top 10 most dangerous countries for journalists according to the CPJ.
In 2013, it is believed that the long-standing conflict in Syria claimed the lives of 28 journalists. This automatically made it the most dangerous place for reporters to work in. Many of the reporters killed in Syria were documenting combat-related tasks in their home towns. Some of them were broadcasters who were working for media houses that had affiliations to either the rebels or the government. Only a handful of the deaths were connected with foreign reporters. The CPJ also included in their report that this figure did not include the 60 journalists that were abducted within the timeframe.
The reality of what is going on in Iraq contradicts the hopes and expectations of many people. As the violence between different sects increased significantly, there was a direct effect on major violence across the country which resulted in the deaths of ten journalists. Out of the ten deaths, nine has been verified as murders. Interestingly, they all occurred in the last part of the year.
Egypt has been a relatively stable country for quite a while. But in 2013, things got a bit unsettling, with increased street violence and political instability, the lives of journalists became at risk. A total of six deaths were recorded across the country. To better illustrate this, only one journalist had died in the previous year.
While a country like Egypt was seeing a surge in journalist’ death, Pakistan witnessed a massive drop in the number of journalist’s deaths that were recorded across the entire country. The country recorded the death of five journalists in 2013. That was the lowest number they have ever had since the year 2010. Premeditated murder was the usual cause of death, but for 2013, four of the five deaths were caused by bomb explosions. Only one death was believed to be murder related.
Although Somalia continues to be a threat zone for journalists, there was a sharp decline in the number of journalists who died in the course of discharging their duties. While 12 persons were thought to have died in the preceding year, only four deaths were recorded in 2013. Though the authorities have consistently promised to make the country a safer place for journalists, things have not changed that much.
The number of journalist-related deaths that were confirmed in India was three in the mentioned year. It was slightly higher than in the previous year. So far nobody has been prosecuted for those killings. India has, however, remained a relatively volatile area for journalists to do their work.
Although it was recorded that three journalists died in 2013, Brazil has distinguished itself as one of the most democratic places. All three journalists were noticed to have worked in various provinces and were also known to be working on corruption and crime-related cases. With the democratic awareness in such a country, it is only natural that people and journalists hope that things will only get better with time.
Who would have thought that the Philippines will show up on the list as one of the most dangerous territories for journalists? With three deaths in the year 2013, they recorded the highest number of journalists’ death in the space of four years. However, the Committee to Protect Journalists was still investigating the motive behind six other murders in the country. It is an alarming development for any journalist who is planning to do some work in the Philippines if you ask me.
Although just two cases of journalists’ death were recorded in Russia, one of the cases made headlines and caught the attention of the international community. It was further alleged back at the time that the government masterminded the death of the journalists because nothing was later done to the perpetrators. For a country like Russia with its politics and economic policies, those allegations were not far-fetched.
Mali is not really a location that threatens the lives of journalists and their work. Since the CPJ started taking records of journalists that die in the course of duty, only two deaths have been recorded as at 2013. The journalists were allegedly kidnapped and killed after they presumably finished an interview with a rebel leader. It was a sad incident, and that had been the case of Mali and journalists’ death.
This list was not put together to frighten or discourage journalists from doing their duty in the respective countries. Neither were they given to tarnish any countries’ image. These stats are only there to make you more aware of the terrain you are moving into. With such information at your fingertips, a journalist can be more alert when carrying out their duties.