A total of 60 journalists were killed globally in relation to their work in 2014, compared with 70 in 2013, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) reported this week.
Twenty-three percent of journalists killed on the job this year were members of the international press, about double the proportion CPJ has documented in recent years, the media watchdog said.
“This is the most dangerous time to be a journalist we have ever seen,” CPJ’s executive director Joel Simon said in a statement posted on the organisation’s website.
“Historically, local journalists have always borne the brunt of the danger, and this is still the case. But the increased attacks on international journalists show that in the current environment, everyone is a target,” Simon explained.
The higher-than-usual proportion of international journalists killed reflects in part the increasingly volatile nature of conflict zones in which Westerners are often deliberately targeted.
However, despite increased risks to international journalists working in conflict zones, the majority of media-related threats affect local journalists, CPJ said in its annual report.
For example, of the approximately 20 journalists CPJ estimates to be currently missing in Syria-many of whom are believed to be held by Islamic State-most are local journalists.