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More journalists killed outside of war zones in 2020: analysis

More journalists killed outside of war zones in 2020: analysis
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More journalists were killed outside of war zones this year, and the majority of them were deliberately targeted, Reporters Without Borders said Tuesday.

The advocacy group identified 50 journalists who were killed this year: 45 professional journalists, one nonprofessional and four media workers. The total amount is a slight decline from last year, when 53 journalists were killed.

“This year’s figures confirm a trend that began in 2016 and has become more marked over the past two years: the number of journalists killed in war zones keeps on falling. It is now countries considered to be 'at peace' that are proving to be the deadliest for journalists,” the group wrote in its report.

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Of the journalists killed this past year, 34 were in countries that were not involved in armed conflict. The number of journalists killed outside of war zones surpassed those in conflict areas starting in 2016.

The 2020 report also found that 42 journalists were deliberately targeted in connection to their work. Those journalists were investigating organized crime groups, corruption and topics linked to environmental issues such as illegal mining or land-grabbing.

Mexico, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India were listed as the top five deadliest countries for journalists this year.

Journalists around the world also faced legal challenges this year. A record number of reporters were jailed, according to the annual census from the Committee to Protect Journalists. The group found that 271 journalists were jailed as of Dec. 1, the most since record-keeping began in the 1990s.

China imprisoned the most journalists this year, followed by Turkey, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Most journalists who were arrested were reporting from their own countries.

In the U.S., the number of arrested or detained reporters this year skyrocketed to a record 117, up more than 1,200 percent from 2019, according to the Freedom of the Press Foundation.