According the media watchdog’s yearly roundup, four of the five journalists targeted by gunmen were killed in the country this year.
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‘Philippines deadliest country for journalists in Asia’
(The Philippine Star) - December 20, 2017 - 4:00pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines is the deadliest country for journalists in Asia, the annual report published Tuesday by media watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) showed.

According the media watchdog’s yearly roundup, four of the five journalists targeted by gunmen were killed in the country this year.

RSF noted that President Duterte’s “cryptic but alarming comment” that journalists are not exempt from assassination “proved to be more than just talk in 2017.”

“The Philippines thus resumed a grim trend going back more than a decade – one that was interrupted only in 2016, an exceptional year in which no journalist was killed,” the media watchdog said.

The Philippines was among the deadliest countries for reporters in the world, joining Syria (12 people killed), Mexico (11), Afghanistan (nine) and Iraq (eight).

In the latest World Press Freedom Index released last April, the country rose 11 places to 127th from 138th out of 180 countries in 2016 after scoring 41.08.

But RSF said that the “insults and open threats” against the media by Duterte, which it described as “another new strongman, do not bode well.”

The report also said that 65 journalists – 50 professional journalists, eight media workers and seven citizen-journalists – were killed in 2017. Twenty-six of them were killed in the line of duty, while 39 were murdered and deliberately targeted because “their reporting threatened political, economic or criminal interests.”

A total of 1,035 professional journalists were killed worldwide in the past 15 years.

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