65 journalists and media workers were killed worldwide this year. Among them were 50 professional reporters, the lowest toll in 14 years. The most dangerous country for journalists is Syria, which has seen 12 reporters killed.
Sixty-five journalists and media workers were killed worldwide in 2017, according to annual figures published by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) on Tuesday.
Among them were 50 professional reporters, the lowest toll in 14 years. However, the downward trend is due at least in part to journalists giving up working in the world's deadliest spots.
War-torn Syria remains the most dangerous country in the world for journalists, RSF said, with 12 reporters killed, followed by Mexico where 11 were assassinated.
They included Javier Valdez, one of the most prominent chroniclers of Mexico's deadly drug war, whose murder in May sparked a public outcry.
The 50-year-old AFP contributor was shot dead in broad daylight in the street in the violent northwestern state of Sinaloa.
His last book, ‘Narco-journalism’, recounted the tribulations of Mexican reporters who try to cover the country's extremely violent ‘narcos’ drug cartels.
RSF said Mexico was the deadliest country not at war, saying those who "cover political corruption or organised crime are often systemically targeted, threatened and gunned down."
According to RSF, the Philippines has become Asia's most dangerous country for reporters, with at least five journalists being shot in the last year, four of whom died of their injuries.
The rise comes after what RSF called an "alarming comment" by President Rodrigo Duterte who said in May that "just because you're a journalist you are not exempted from assassination if you're a son of a bitch."
No journalists were killed in the country the previous year.
The overall number of professional reporters slain worldwide, however, fell to its lowest number in 14 years, RSF said.
Of the 65 killed, the report said 39 were murdered, while the rest died in the line of duty, collateral victims of deadly circumstances likes air strikes or suicide bombings.
The group said that the drop in the death rate may be because journalists were now being better trained and protected for war zones.
"The downward trend is also due to journalists abandoning countries that have become too dangerous," it added.
"Countries such as Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and Libya have been haemorrhaging journalists."