A tough year to be a journalist
Journalism has become one of the most dangerous careers in the past few years as more media figures have been targeted, imprisoned and tortured by parties who felt threatened to be documented by journalists.
Violence and instability has spread more throughout the globe in 2012 as journalists preformed their obligations to cover the turmoil, especially in the Middle East region as revolutions continue to take place, resulting in the death of 70 journalists confirmed motive and 30 others still under investigation, with Syria leading as the highest casualties amongst all countries.
According to Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) whose mission is to “defend journalists worldwide”, this year has ranked the third highest in ten years of targeted journalists who’ve been killed while covering news.
The deadliest country for journalists in 2012 is Syria, with 90 death toll count, followed by Somalia (12), and Pakistan (7).
The number of Syrian journalists killed inside the country defeated the number of killed foreigner journalists. Fatalities were on both sides of the Syrian conflict, opposition and supporters of the regime.
Haidar al-Sumudi, Syrian state TV cameraman, was the last targeted Syrian journalist to be killed by the time this report was published. Sumudi was shot and killed outside of his Damascus house in the neighborhood of Kafar Sousa as he was leaving to work Dec. 21. Summudi was amongst the ten government journalists who were assassinated during the Syrian conflict in 2012.
A former Syrian state TV broadcaster who asked to stay anonymous, forfeited his job earlier this year and escaped the hit list of targeted Syrian journalist told Al Arabiya English in an interview that he worked with Sumudi on numerous occasions and is distraught to lose his colleagues in this “wave of hatred.”
Naji Asaad, another targeted Syrian journalist, was an editor at the daily state-run newspaper Tishreen; he was snipped in his head outside his home in Damascus as he was leaving to work. Syrian opposition press had almost double the number amongst the lines of targeted journalists who were killed by the regime for leaking footages and information of the regime’s violence and brutality against civilians and participating in revealing the truth.
One of the most memorable and acclaimed international reporter, who died earlier this year while reporting on the regime’s execution of airstrikes and shelling, was Marie Colvin.
Colvin, who was on an assignment in Homs for Sunday Times, was amongst two other foreign journalists who were struck by Syrian forces during combat. The two other foreign journalists murdered were French photojournalist Rémi Ochlik and Japanese reporter Mika Yamamoto.
The Committee to Protect Journalists declared Syria to be one of the world’s deadliest places for journalists.
Coordinator of CPJ for the Middle East and North Africa Program, Sherif Mansour asked all sides of the Syrian conflict to abide to the the international law of protecting journalists while in combat.
“Journalists in Syria face a myriad of risks from multiple sources including targeted killings and the deadly crossfire of combat.”