Journalists killed in 2011: CPJ list looks at reasons for killings

The Committee to Protect Journalists issued its list of journalists killed in 2011. And what is important about this list is that CPJ divides the list between those journalists killed because of their work and those killed for undetermined reasons.

According to CPJ 43 journalists were killed this year because of their work. The most deadly place for journalists was Pakistan with seven journalists killed directly related to their jobs.

Deadliest Countries in 2011

  1. Pakistan: 7
  2. Iraq: 5
  3. Libya: 5
  4. Mexico: 3
  5. Bahrain: 2

Remember, these are killings directly attributable to the job of journalism. The CPJ seems to be the only group working to investigate why some journalists are killed around the world.
According to the CPJ, an additional 35 journalists were killed but the reasons for those killings cannot — or have not yet been — tied to the journalist’s work.
And it is this category that all of the Honduran killings fall.
Adding in this list, Pakistan becomes worse with an additional five killings this year. Mexico would add another four, etc.
Another country in the headlines for journalists being killed is Honduras. So far this year, four Honduran journalists were killed — more than the confirmed Mexican killings. But it also looks as if many of the killings could be the result of “wrong place/wrong time.”
One of the important thing about good journalism is its commitment to getting the story right. It does little good to hype all killings of journalists as attacks on the media. And yet over and over journalism organizations look at the total number of journalists killed — with the exception of CPJ — as evidence of attacks on the media.
Could some of the unconfirmed attacks be related to the journalists’ job? Sure. But without facts to back up the accusations, the distinction is important to make.
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