Truth and dare | Bleader

Truth and dare

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At least 43 journalists have been killed around the world this year thanks to their work, the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists reported Tuesday. The number is tentative—the CPJ, which is fastidious about its statistics, is still looking into 35 other deaths to find out what was behind them.

Pakistan, with seven killings, led the world for the second straight year. (In 2010 it was home to eight killings.) There were five killings in Libya, where a civil war was fought, five in Iraq, and three in Mexico, where the CPJ says four more journalists died for uncertain reasons. “Mexican authorities appear paralyzed in their efforts to combat pervasive anti-press violence,” the CPJ reports. "Mexican journalists continue to face a dark choice: Censor their own work or be at risk. Noel López Olguín, whose newspaper column ‘With a Lead Pen’ took on drug trafficking and official corruption, was found in a clandestine grave in Veracruz state in May, two months after gunmen had abducted him.”

Of the 35 unattributed deaths, 20 occurred in the Western Hemisphere: “In much of the Americas, the web of crime and official corruption, combined with a lack of effective law enforcement, makes the determination of a motive exceedingly difficult.”

Nineteen of the 43 journalists were murdered, says the CPJ, an improvement over past years, when nearly three deaths in four were targeted. Eight of the journalists died in combat. Eight were online journalists, including a Mexican reporter whose decapitated body was found outside Nuevo Laredo with a note saying she'd died because of her use of social media. About 40 percent of the dead were photojournalists. And in a sign of the times, nearly one in three was a freelancer, more than twice the proportion in earlier years.

Click here to read the entire report. And here's a discussion of CPR's methodology, by executive director Joel Simon.

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