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IPI: Not a good year for journalists

CAROL MARTINDALE, [email protected]

IPI: Not a good year for journalists

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PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Jun 24 – The International Press Institute (IPI) began its World Congress today with a warning that 2012 is “shaping up to be the worst on record for journalist killings” since it began keeping record 15 years ago.
IPI executive director Allison Bethel-McKenzie told delegates from more than 120 countries that so far this year 72 journalists have been killed because of their work.
In addition, the global financial crisis that is ravaging the media industry continued to take a toll on the profession with reporters being laid off, bureaus are closed, advertising revenue dropping and news budgets shrink.
She said journalists were finding it ever more difficult to fulfill that most noble of duties of satisfying the people’s right to know.
“From Somalia to Syria, the Philippines to Mexico and Iraq to Pakistan reporters are being brutally targeted for death in unparalleled numbers,” a visibly emotional Mrs. Bethel-McKenzie told delegates to the three-day forum that is being held under the theme “Media in a Challenging World-360 Degree Perspective”.
She said that so far this year, 72 journalists have died because of their work.
“Last year was the second-worst on record, with 102 journalists killed. And 2009 was the grimmest ever  with 110 deaths, 32 of them in a single election convoy massacre in the Philippines in which another 26 civilians were slain.
“It is deeply disturbing that in a year still massively impacted by the once-unimaginable, the overthrow of brutal Arab regimes through people, and media power, journalists are dying on the job in record numbers.” (CMC)