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December 13, 2013

Syria: The most dangerous country in the world to be a journalist (interactive graphics)

By Rachel Banning-Lover

Syria is currently the most dangerous country in the world to be a journalist.

According to Reporters Without Borders, 27 journalists have been killed since the conflict began in 2011 and 36 are still missing after being kidnapped and still missing. They include Sunday Times correspondeont Marie Colvin (pictured above) who was killed in Homs in February 2012.

Citizen journalists are even more at risk, with 93  killed and 22 still missing after being kidnapped – again according to Reporters Without Borders.

Spanish Paper El Mundo announced earlier this week that two of its journalists, veteran reporter Javier Espinosa and freelance photographer Ricardo Garcia Vilanovahad, had been held hostage since September.

These data visualisations special break down the figures of those killed or kidnapped – charting and mapping incidents by journalists' nationalities, by month and by location.

There is also an animated chart, mapping the death toll of journalists over the last three years.

All the data used for these charts comes from Reporters Without Borders, and only includes journalists who have been confirmed as being targeted directly as a result of their work. 

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Syrian journalists make up 65 per cent of journalists killed

While foreign journalists from Iraq, Iran, Palestine, Jordan, France, Spain, Sweden, and the US have been victims, the interactive pie chart below shows Syrian journalists make up over 65 per cent of those killed and over half of the journalists still missing to date.

France is the country to have lost the second largest number of journalists to the Syrian conflict, with four killed and four journalists still missing, as shown by the table and interactive map below.

Citizen journalists have been the worst hit in the Syrian conflict, with three times the number of citizen journalists killed as professional journalists.

As more news organisations are withdrawing their journalists from the war zone, Western media outlets have increasingly relied on citizen journalists to report from Syria.

August 2012 the month most journalists were killed

August 2012 has been the deadliest month so far for journalists killed in Syria directly as a result of their work – four were killed.

Syrian news providers are fleeing the country

Reporters Without Borders noted a marked increased in abductions of Syrian news providers by armed groups in and near the city of Aleppo since the start of November.

The media is under threat from both rebels and government forces.

It has reported that Syrian news providers are fleeing the country in large numbers because of the threat from the I. More than ten have sought refuge in Turkey since the start of November. Many of those still in Syria have stopped working for fear of reprisals from Islamic militants, Reporters Without Borders reports.

Which journalists were killed?

The interactive timeline map below illustrates who the 27 journalists were that Reporters Without Borders has identified as been killed in Syria directly as a result of their work.  Click on the link to the full quality version to see short biographies of them, find out when they were killed and in what part of Syria.


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