This is the highest toll since 1997 when the IPI started keeping track. In Syria alone, 36 journalists were killed this year, Xinhua reported.
The press watchdog said it had observed an "alarming trend" of journalists increasingly being targetted, often in order to "prevent information disclosure".
After Syria, Somalia is also dangerous for journalists, the IPI said, with 16 deaths in 2012, followed by Mexico, Pakistan and the Philippines.
The killing of veteran Indian journalist Jyotirmoy Dey also created a lot of furore in 2011. Dey was the crime and investigations editor for Mid Day (a tabloid newspaper published in several cities in India) and an expert on the Mumbai underworld.
He was shot dead by motorcycle-borne sharpshooters on Jun 11, 2011. The case was yet to be solved. On 21 Feb 2012, Mumbai Crime Branch chargesheeted journalist Jigna Vora (Deputy Chief of Bureau of Asian Age) under stringent provisions of Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) and various other penal offences for her alleged role in the sensational murder. However, later on she was granted bail.