Media death toll rose in 2011 versus 2010: IFJ

Reuters News
Posted: Dec 30, 2011 2:24 PM
Media death toll rose in 2011 versus 2010: IFJ

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - More than 100 journalists or other media staff were killed in 2011, up from last year's toll, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) said on Friday, calling on U.N. Secretary General Bank Ki-moon to act to help protect the profession.

Violence against the media was worst in Pakistan, Iraq and Mexico, each of which saw 11 deaths.

One of those killed in Iraq was a freelance working for Reuters Sabah al-Bazee.

In total, 106 were killed in 2011, compared with 94 in 2010. In addition, 20 journalists or other media staff, died in accidents and natural disasters, the IFJ said.

Most of those named by IFJ were frontline journalists. The rest were cameramen, drivers and other media support staff.

The Brussels-based IFJ blamed the 2011 death toll on governments' failure to protect journalists and punish those responsible for violence against them.

It has written to the U.N. secretary general calling for action.

"In a situation where governments are in denial or indifferent to what has become a regular pattern of targeted killings of journalists, it is incumbent upon yourself and the United Nations to remind them of their responsibility to protect journalists," IFJ President Jim Boumelha wrote in a letter to Ban made public on Friday.

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 131 countries around the world.

Earlier this month, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) reported 66 journalists had been killed worldwide in 2011 and said Pakistan had been the second most dangerous country for news coverage for the second year running.

(Reporting by Barbara Lewis)