BRUSSELS – Fewer reporters were killed worldwide in 2010 than in the previous year, but media advocacy groups warned that while the number slain in war zones has fallen, criminals and traffickers pose a greater threat to journalists.
Fifty-seven reporters were killed around the world this year, the Paris-based media advocacy group Reporters Without Borders said in its annual report, down 25 percent from 2009, when 76 journalists were killed in connection with their jobs.
Last year’s record number of deaths was high because of a massacre in the Philippines that saw more than two dozen journalists and their staff gunned down.
A separate report this week from the Brussels-based International Federation for Journalists said 94 journalists and other media personnel were killed in 2010, down from 139 in 2009. The federation count includes other employees of media organizations such as drivers, cameramen or producers.
The insurgency in Pakistan claimed the most victims in 2010, according to both groups. Other dangerous beats included the drug war in Mexico and political unrest in Honduras. Iraq, the Philippines, and Somalia also ranked high.
People working in the media also faced other threats this year.
A total of 51 reporters were kidnapped in 2010, up from 33 in 2009, Reporters Without Borders said. Two French TV journalists, Herve Ghesquiere and Stephane Taponier, as well as their three Afghan assistants, have been held hostage in Afghanistan for more than a year.