At least 43 journalists were killed worldwide in direct relation to their work this year, according to the year-end survey on journalists killed in the line of duty by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) .
CPJ is an independent, nonprofit organization that works to safeguard the freedom of press worldwide and is based in New York. The survey states that seven deaths have occurred in Pakistan, considered the most dangerous nation for journalists for the second year in a row, where 29 have been killed in the past five years. Of the seven journalists killed in Pakistan this year, five were murdered, said CPJ executive director Joel Simon. Mexico - increasingly a global leader, which will assume the G20 presidency in 2012 - holds a similarly atrocious record, Simon added. “Mexican journalists continue to face a dark choice: Censor their own work or be at risk,” Simon continued.
The survey also noted that a majority of the journalists who were killed worldwide covered politics and most were local journalists. the CPJ said it is still investigating the deaths of 35 media workers in 2011 to determine if they were work-related.
The combination of dangerous assignments turned deadly and targeted murders that remain unsolved is a double challenge to free expression, said Simon. Sixteen journalists died on dangerous assignments. Five journalists were killed in Libya, two in Yemen, two in Bahrain, two in Egypt, one each in Syria and Tunisia.
CPJ has also released the list of journalists who were killed on duty. It is available here.