Peshawar, Jan 1: Pakistan is the second deadliest place, in the world for the press with seven out of 60 journalists having been killed here in 2008, a worldwide press freedom round-up has claimed.
“After Iraq (with 15 journalists killed), the two countries with the highest death tolls are Pakistan and the Philippines (six killed)," Paris based Reporters Without Borders (RSF) was quoted by the Daily Times, as saying.
Out of the seven journalists who lost their lives in Pakistan, two were shot dead in the Swat Valley, two in Balochistan. One death each was reported in Bajaur Agency, Sindh and Punjab provinces.
In 2007, 86 journalists and 20 media assistants were killed and 887 were arrested, 1,511 physically attacked or threatened, 528 media outlets were censored and 67 kidnapped.
In 2008, 60 journalists and one media assistant were killed, 673 journalists were arrested, 929 physically attacked or threatened, 353 media outlets were censored and 29 journalists kidnapped, the RSF said.
Figures of 2008 were considered better despite more Internet repression and hostile atmosphere for the press, The RSF press freedom round up said.
But the declined figures are not necessarily indicative of better conditions for the press. “The figures may be lower than last year''''s but this should not mask the fact that intimidation and censorship have become more widespread," the RSF commented.
The RSF counted only those cases in which a link between the violation and the victim''''s work as a journalist was clearly established or was very likely.
However, the traditional journalism is rapidly being replaced with the new 'citizen journalism" or the blogosphere all over the world.
Internet repression is an easy tool to prevent citizen journalists from reporting. In 2008, someone was for the first time killed while acting as a 'citizen journalist". But the data doesn"t register such cases.