With 72 journalists killed so far this year, 2012 is on pace to be the deadliest on record, the International Press Institute (IPI) announced here on Sunday.
The media freedom organization’s executive director, Alison Bethel McKenzie, choked up and struggled to speak as she addressed the group’s annual conference.
“From Somalia to Syria, the Philippines to Mexico, and Iraq to Pakistan, reporters are being brutally targeted for death in unparalleled numbers,” she said.
The most lethal year so far in the 15 that IPI has been keeping records was 2009, when 110 journalists died. Last year was the second worst, with 102 deaths.
Syria, where peaceful protests have turned into a violent civil war, has been the most dangerous country in 2012, with 20 professional and citizen reporters, both local and foreign, killed so far, according to
“It is deeply disturbing that in a year still massively impacted by the once unimaginable—the overthrow of brutal Arab regimes through people and media power—journalists are dying on the job in record numbers,” she said.
Unlike the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), which also monitors casualties, IPI counts accidental deaths, such as those of five Indonesian journalists killed when a plane crashed during a demonstration flight in May. Still, the two groups are in rough accord on the violent pace of 2012. According to CPJ, 46 journalists have died so far this year, on track to match or surpass the 97 lost lives it recorded in 2009, the highest number in the 20 years the group has kept statistics.