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124 media professionals died covering conflicts in 2011

The International News Safety Institute (INSI) recorded 124 journalists and other media workers killed in 40 countries in 2011, compared with 97 in 2010. The toll was the highest since 2009 when 133 died, including 32 in a single massacre in the Philippines.

According to the INSI the uprisings that rocked the Middle East fuelled a startling increase in killings. Covering conflict and political unrest in the so-called Arab Spring countries – Libya, Yemen, Syria, Egypt, Tunisia and Bahrain – proved deadly for 23 journalists and other media staff.

Ten journalists died in Libya, the fourth most dangerous country in the world in 2011, and seven in Yemen.

“The death toll reminds us of the great risks run by so many journalists as they attempt to shine the light of truth onto the darkest recesses of our world,” said INSI Director Rodney Pinder.

Outside the Arab world, targeting journalists in a bid to silence reports uncovering crime and corruption in their own countries remained the greatest cause of death in 2011, with 74 murders.

Pakistan, Mexico and Iraq were the most murderous countries with 11 deaths in each.