Mexico, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Afghanistan lead war on journalism: watchdog

VIENNA, April 25, 2007 (AFP) – A media watchdog on Wednesday described 2006 as the “most savage and brutal” year on record for journalists with 100 media professionals killed across the world.

It was a “war on journalism,” said Johann Fritz, director of the International Press Institute.

“With 100 journalists killed, 2006 was the most savage and brutal year in the history of the modern media,” said Fritz in the IPI’s annual report.

Conflict-torn Iraq, where more than 150 media workers have died since the 2003 US-led invasion, topped the list as the world’s most dangerous place for the media for the fourth year. In 2006, 46 journalists died reporting the conflict.

In almost all cases, the deaths were targeted killings, the report added.

Journalists were killed in 23 other nations last year with the second most deadly country being the Philippines, with 10 killings. The IPI study covered 180 countries.

Seven journalists died in Mexico; five in Sri Lanka; four in Pakistan; three each in Afghanistan and Colombia; and two each in Venezuela, Russia, India and China.

Most of the victims were from the local media and almost all the killings were carried out with imp