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File photo dated August 31, 2012 shows Turkish journalists marching to the Syrian embassy in Ankara, Turkey, demanding the release of their colleagues captured by Syrian forces.—AP Photo
File photo dated August 31, 2012 shows Turkish journalists marching to the Syrian embassy in Ankara, Turkey, demanding the release of their colleagues captured by Syrian forces.—AP Photo

Almost as many journalists died in India as in war-torn Syria in the first six months of this year, says a report by a media safety group.

Eight journalists lost their lives in Syria alone between January and June, according to a survey by the International News Safety Institute. Journalists have been attacked, detained, kidnapped and killed in crossfire and by both government and opposition forces, says the report. Syria was the deadliest country for the news media last year.

The second most dangerous country was India, where there were six casualties. The last time India was among the top five worst countries was in 2010.

Although the tally is high, the INSI report suggests that while one member of the news media was murdered because of his work, three were killed in what is thought to be a case of mistaken identity and two were killed in accidents.

In February, Nemi Chand Jain, a journalist from Chhattisgarh in central India, was found dead with his throat slit and a note clipped to his belt accusing him of being a police informer. The Committee to Protect Journalists later cited local media speculation that both local criminals and the police could be responsible for Jain’s murder.

And in May, three employees from a Bengali language daily were murdered by masked men who forced their way into the office. The unknown assailants killed the manager of the paper, Ranjit Choudhary, and then stabbed a proof reader and a driver to death as they left the building. In an interview after the incident, the editor of the paper said that he thought he was the real target but believed it was a case of mistaken identity.

Two Indian journalists were also killed in accidents while on assignment.

Pakistan was the third most dangerous country with five journalists killed in the first half of this year.

In recent years, Pakistan has consistently ranked among the most dangerous countries for journalists as they are caught between warring political parties, the security forces and militant or extremist networks. The report said four journalists were killed in secondary explosions, a devastating tactic which targets first responders, such as emergency service workers and journalists, who rush to the site of a bomb blast.

At least four more media workers were killed in Egypt after June, making it now the fourth most dangerous country for journalists in 2013 so far.

Last year was the deadliest on record for journalists in Somalia. They continue to be targeted in the on-going struggle between the new government and Islamist militants. Militant group Al Shabaab has been blamed for many of the attacks on Somali journalists in the past twelve months.

According to the INSI report titled ‘Killing the Messenger’, of the 40 journalists and support staff killed between January and June, over half (21) were killed in peacetime as opposed to warfare.

The toll compares with 70 for the first six months of last year. However, INSI said it has recorded the deaths of an additional 27 journalists and support staff where it was unclear whether the killings were related to their work.

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Comments (31) Closed

Sandeep Singh Aug 20, 2013 03:47pm

Lol. Look at the Media population in INDIA and in Pakistan. INDIA is far best.

Alan Aug 20, 2013 04:22pm

A flawed analysis and faulty conclusion. Typical.

Raja Aug 20, 2013 05:22pm

Wrong! India is the FIRST most dangerous country for all professionals specially for women.

RAGHUNATH Aug 20, 2013 05:55pm


arjun Aug 20, 2013 07:22pm

A flawed analysis and faulty conclusion

india Aug 20, 2013 07:23pm

which part of india? india has 28 states, most of them speak their own languages. india is not just delhi , mumbai, kolkota and chennai

musharraf Aug 20, 2013 07:28pm

Pakistan is the safest place on earth for all people, according to the latest study by GKW. God bless.

dr.balasaheb sonawane Aug 20, 2013 07:43pm

Dear Sir... Don't U think INSI report about security of press in India is false?I think It will not be an exaggeration if i put it that "almost all Accridated ,authorised Journos/Newsmen enjoy good safety here ,in this part of subcontinent". Barring few incidents ,which may take place bcoz of either individual rivalries ,or mistaken identities,or intergroup clashes, no newsman face any such terminal actions, not

Satyameva Jayate Aug 20, 2013 08:14pm

The author seems to have thrown Statistical Comparison and Data Analysis in to fire.

Sonal Aug 20, 2013 08:17pm

Perhaps we should look at the relative proportion of journalist killings rather than the absolute number. Six casualties from a population of 1.3 billion is actually not so bad at all. I'm not in any way trying to imply that journalist deaths are fine!

I looked at Indian press, and surprise surprise I couldn't find anything on this. I did find something from December 2012, which said that 13 were killed in Pakistan in 2012, and 5 in India. So based on this the Dawn should conclude that Pakistan has become safer for journalists ;)

Mustafa Aug 20, 2013 08:51pm

Generally speaking all these Western "reports" are not immune to Western propaganda and a few bottom slots are reserved for governments not kowtowing to the colonial world order. The difference between a journalist and propagandist or saboteur is in the eye of the beholder. Do you think BBC reporting on Egypt is just reporting?

Minion Aug 20, 2013 09:31pm

@Alan: FYI, the analysis and conclusion are not from Dawn but from the INSI.

Minion Aug 20, 2013 09:34pm

@RAGHUNATH: I think it clearly states Pakistan is the 3rd ... and just to set your mind at ease, it is not a report from Dawn, but from INSI. You should take your question to them.

ajaz Aug 20, 2013 10:31pm

@Sandeep Singh: India indeed has moved ahead however, the state of journalism is not healthy at all. The jingoism that is being perpetrated every day at night makes me feel pity on the entire fraternity.

sensitization Aug 20, 2013 11:16pm

oh so Pakistan being third is no biggie huh, awesome sensitization.

JK Aug 20, 2013 11:23pm

hahahah... look who is saying highlighting India is dangerous country :) is Pakistan safe? touch your heart and say it.

Sid Aug 20, 2013 11:23pm

One can only sympathize with your understanding of critical reasoning.

vin Aug 20, 2013 11:29pm

@Sandeep Singh: right on spot!

Khurram Jadoon Aug 21, 2013 12:11am

@Sandeep Singh: Again quantitative, not qualitative. Come on Indians .. think on different lines at least for once.It's just like your IT folks - you all know what I mean - another LOL. Journalists only get killed when they report something from real world not about bollywood manic nation fake mauj/masti news.

Mandar Joshi Aug 21, 2013 01:10am

I believe they should look at percentage... In Syria may be 8 out of total 10 Journalist died... in India 6 out of 6,000 working as journalist?

Mukesh Aug 21, 2013 01:22am

@Raja: Raja ji - just add up all the number of people killed in different bomb blasts in Pakistan for 2013 and the numbers will tell you which is the most dangerous country

Mukesh Aug 21, 2013 01:28am

The article just counts the number of journalists killed, it does not take into account the total number of journalists in a country.

As per the article 6 journalists were killed in India (including the ones killed in accidents) and 5 were killed in Pakistan.

Looking by the population, we can safely assume that the total number of journalists in India is at least 5 times that of Pakistan.

I will leave it to readers to draw the conclusion.

Roy Menzes Aug 21, 2013 02:10am


According to the logic of this article, UK and USA are the seventh most dangerous countries for journalists. That explains it all.


sanjay Aug 21, 2013 03:01am

I admitted India is not safest place but I am sure only five journalist come to pak and got killed

Akil Akhtar Aug 21, 2013 04:25am


wahab Aug 21, 2013 05:48am

The survey was done by International News Safety Institute and not by Pakistan Media Thanks God for that

Janan Aug 21, 2013 09:39am

I think it will take some time for india to get educated . I think Pakistan is much much safer in all aspects of life India just gets free ride.

Mohammad Ahsan Aug 21, 2013 02:38pm

I m from Pakistan and I agree with "Sandeep Singh" its not about the number its about "out of how many". Beside either Pakistan is on second or on third and India is on 3rd or 2nd, this ranking (either) is not at all a proud ranking for any country and just less dangerous than each other should not be the target for any country, the target should be the safety of journalists, all together.

asif nawaz Aug 21, 2013 02:38pm

dear all,whether a particular country is congenial for nurturing journalism or safeguarding journalists a factual question root and branch,which can neither be considered nor answered without taking in account the conditions prevalent,the threats ahead and the deadly challenges often pulling faces at those busy in serving the purpose of truth,the anecdote of history is replete with such examples

Cosmic Lion Aug 22, 2013 02:09pm

Whatever makes Pakistanis happy

asif Aug 23, 2013 12:12pm

champions of democracy... aaaa haaa haaa