Sixty journalists killed in 2014, most in the Middle East

Almost quarter of them worked for international press, says Committee to Protect Journalists

 Simon Cumbers: an Irish man who worked as a  cameraman for the BBC. He was killed in  Saudi Arabia in 2004. A media fund to promote good development journalism has been set up in his name

Simon Cumbers: an Irish man who worked as a cameraman for the BBC. He was killed in Saudi Arabia in 2004. A media fund to promote good development journalism has been set up in his name

 

At least 60 journalists were killed globally this year in work-related violence, with the Middle East the deadliest region, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said in a year-end report on Tuesday.

The 2014 death toll marks a drop from 2013, when 70 journalists were killed, the New York-based watchdog said.

The CPJ is investigating the deaths this year of at least 18 more journalists to see if they are work-related.

Almost half of the journalists killed this year died in the Middle East. Syria was the deadliest country for journalists for the third year in a row, with at least 17 killed there amid a civil war.

Seventy-nine journalists have been killed in Syria since fighting started in 2011, the CPJ said.

The last three years were the deadliest worldwide since the CPJ began documenting journalists’ killings in 1992, it said.

Almost a quarter of the journalists killed in 2014 were members of the international press, about twice the amount recorded in recent years, it said.

International correspondents killed included Anja Niedringhaus, an Associated Press photographer shot in Afghanistan in April while covering elections.

A US freelance reporter and a US-Israeli freelancer were killed by Islamic State militants, who have seized a large swath of Iraq and Syria.

The highest number of deaths were among broadcast reporters, at 35 per cent followed by photographers and camera operators, at 27 per cent.

The CPJ said it considered a death work-related when it is reasonably certain a journalist is killed in reprisal for their work, in combat-related crossfire or while carrying out a dangerous assignment. - Reuters