65 media workers killed in 2017: RSF

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media workers

MNA Exclusive Desk: Sixty-five journalists and media workers were killed worldwide in 2017, according to annual figures published by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) on Tuesday.

Among them were 50 professional reporters, the lowest toll in 14 years. However, the downward trend is due at least in part to journalists giving up working in the world’s deadliest spots.

War-torn Syria remains the most dangerous country in the world for journalists, RSF said, with 12 reporters killed, followed by Mexico where 11 were assassinated.

They included Javier Valdez, one of the most prominent chroniclers of Mexico’s deadly drug war, whose murder in May sparked a public outcry.

The 50-year-old AFP contributor was shot dead in broad daylight in the street in the violent northwestern state of Sinaloa.

The Philippines has become Asia’s most dangerous country for reporters, with at least five journalists being shot in the last year, four of whom died of their injuries.

The rise comes after what RSF called an “alarming comment” by President Rodrigo Duterte who said in May that “just because you’re a journalist you are not exempted from assassination if you’re a son of a bitch.”

Of the 65 killed, the report said 39 were murdered, while the rest died in the line of duty-collateral victims of deadly circumstances likes air strikes or suicide bombings.

The group said that the drop in the death rate may be because journalists were now being better trained and protected for war zones.