Wielding the lens and taking the chances, journalists are the voices of the world. They bring to our rooms the news around the world. Journalism covers everything from writing, reporting and distributing news and events. With the advent of social media, journalism has received a major transformation. Anyone with access to the internet can put their views on a social platform. This may be in the form of photos, videos, films or even articles and posts.
Journalism is an extremely fascinating field. Journalists are one of the finest people who are prone to challenges on a continuous basis. However, journalism is not a rosy path. Risks involved in the job vary from hate calls and kidnapping to being taken hostage and murder. Instead of telling stories, journalists often end up becoming the stories. Violence against journalists throws limelight on the restrictions on the freedom of expression, democracy, obligations towards work and the extremes they went for to be loyal to their responsibility. Reports provide shocking revelations. A total of 71 journalists were killed from January to June of 2015 across 24 countries. These increasing numbers are a clear indication of the mightiness of sword over the pen. Here is a list of countries that proved very dangerous to journalists in the recent times.
Committee to Protect Journalists reports that 34 journalists were killed in Brazil since 1992.Four Brazilian journalists have been killed since the beginning of this year itself. Most of the journalists have been murdered brutally while they were at their work. They were journalists famous for reporting corruption, child trafficking and other sensitive issues.65 percent of the reporters murdered have been dealing with corruption and Government officials were suspected to be the perpetrators in 52 % of these cases.
Russia has been a dangerous zone for journalists since the early 1990s.With the cold blooded murder of the famous Ukranian journalist Anna Politkovskaya on October 7, 2006, the concern over safety of journalists emerged as a major issue in Russia. There are no accurate details on the number of journalists killed in Russia. However, reports revealed that a large number of journalists suffered premature deaths from factors including work accidents, crossfire incidents and domestic cases of manslaughter
The Committee for Protection of Journalists reports that around 60 journalists have been killed in Algeria since 1992.The violence in Algeria began in early1992 when the Government chose to suspend elections. Since then journalists have become high profile targets for extremists. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) rates Algeria as one of the most dangerous places for journalists from around the world. The Government in Algeria also exerts immense control over the media.
Since 1992, 77 reporters have been killed in Philippines, out of which two were victim of targeted hits. This comes as a surprise since Philippines is not a war torn zone. The ‘Maguindanao Massacre’ is considered to be the single deadliest event for journalists anywhere in the world till date. Also known by the name of ‘Amputuan Massacre’, this event is marked by the brutal murder of 32 journalists in 2009.Television reporters are often shot at while they report live. Philippines is ranked as the third deadliest country after Syria and Iraq.
Our own India that boats of freedom of expression and freedom of press itself is a dangerous place for journalists. Indian media is diverse and powerful. However, journalists in India face huge problems ranging from threats to murders. Journalists working in rural areas face the major trouble as they have no job security, fixed income, networks or institutions to support them. In 2012, India was regarded as the second most dangerous place for journalists. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, 35 journalists have been murdered with a confirmed motive and 22 with unconfirmed motive in India since 1992.
Reporters Without Borders reports that Egypt is the second country in the world for the number of journalists arrested. With the growing political unrest in the country, the situation for the journalists is deteriorating day by day. Six journalists were killed in the year 2013.Egypt has been suffering from political turmoil since 2011.Media outlets are forced to censor contents heavily. Authorities in Egypt tend to control all the information and in try to be the ultimate and only source of information. What is even more surprising is the fact that the law allows the State to jail journalists who publish news contradicting the official sanctioned version of the events.
A country known to the outside world as the haven of pirates is not safe for journalists as well. The Committee for Protection of Journalists reports that 57 journalists have been killed in Somalia since 1992.The civil war in Somalia that started in 1992 and lasted till 2013 was the major reason for it being unsafe for journalists. The Al-Jazeera described the country as the most dangerous place in Africa for working journalists.
Pakistan is the most dangerous democratic country for journalists. The authorities in the country have failed to protect the domestic and international journalists. Various terrorist agencies and even political parties have posed threats to the journalists in Pakistan. The journalists are threatened and killed for reporting against military, political parties and militant outfits. What makes the scenario even worse is the fact that the management of the media companies refuse to take responsibility for their employees.
The Iraq war has turned out to be the deadliest one for journalists. The reports by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) reveal that at least 150 journalists and 54media workers were killed in Iraq from the US led invasion which began in 2003.The ISIS have also taken extreme steps against the journalists. Beheading of media persons and uploading its videos are a move to weaken the journalist community. By 2010, Reporters without Borders had recorded the death of 230 media professionals, 87 percent of which are Iraqis.
Torn apart by the civil war, regime of the ISIS, refugee crisis and extensive foreign strikes, Syria paints a picture of distress and misery. Families are found fleeing the region. However, it is the responsibility and duty of the journalists to extensively cover the crisis and accurately report it. Be it the widely circulated picture of the toddler or the disturbing updates and videos of the ISIS, it can be understood that journalists are trying their best to inform the world about the situation in Syria. They prioritize their work and sacrifice their lives in many situations. A total of 79 journalists have been killed in Syria since the crisis began in 2011.It continues to be a risky area for journalists.