Journalist Toll Of 2011

Given the public uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa, the military campaigns in Afghanista and Pakistan, and the drug conflict in Mexico, last year was particularly bloody. Reporters sans frontières has released its annual tally.

66 journalists and 2 assistants were killed in 2011, which is slightly more than in 2010.

1,044 journalists were known to be arrested, which is almost double the number of 2010. The hotbeds were certainly the events of the “Arab Spring” during 2011. But reporters were also arrested, summoned to court and interrogated in connection with the demonstrations in Greece, Belarus, Uganda, Chile and the Occupy Wall Street protests in the USA.

“In some countries, bloggers have taken on a central role,” says Michael Rediske, the head of the German section of Reporters Without Borders. “Especially when conventional media are strongly censored or international journalists are not allowed into the country.”

But the organization warns that Internet activists reporting in blogs, on Twitter or via Facebook have increasingly attracted the scrutiny of authorities and of violent groups. Five Internet activists are reported to have died in 2011, three of them in Mexico. 199 bloggers were arrested, and 62 were physically assaulted.

Rediske also points out that the number of countries with Internet censorship has risen from 62 to 68.

The most dangerous countries for journalists in 2011: Pakistan, Iraq, Libya and Mexico.

Link: Reporters Without Borders (English Site)

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Journalist and media professional currently based in Los Angeles, California. Focusing on science and technology.