The Philippines is the world's most dangerous place for journalists, where 37 media persons were killed in 2009. This dubious distinction earlier belonged to Iraq, which had been consistently reporting the highest number of media persons being murdered or killed, since the US invasion of the country in 2003. This year, however, three journalists died in Iraq.
The world over, 88 journalists were killed so far in 2009, according to the half-year review of press freedom worldwide, brought out by World Association of Newspapers (WAN) at World Newspaper Congress underway in Hyderabad.
The political turmoil in the Philippines is the primary reason for the record number of journalist casualties in the region. More than 30 journalists were among the 57 people murdered on November 23, 2009 in Maguindanao province. WAN condemned the massacre and called upon the government to do justice. In India, Anil Mazumdar, editor-in-chief of Assamese daily, Aji, was shot dead in Guwahati this year in March.
The report also points out to hundreds of media persons being arrested or jailed worldwide for their work; 170 journalists remain in jail even today. It identifies China as one of the world's largest jailors of journalists. Currently, at least 30 journalists and 58 bloggers are behind bars for doing their job.
While journalists uncovering high-level corruption and organised crime are attacked in Latin America, in the Middle East and Africa; governments are intolerant of truth, dissent and mockery. Moreover, blogging and the internet are perceived as a threat to power, points out the report.