Brazil among most dangerous countries for journalists during first half of 2012, research shows

Research from the International News Safety Institute (INSI) ranked Brazil among the five worst countries for journalists during the first half of the year. That places Brazil alongside Nigeria, Somalia, Indonesia, and Mexico, reported the Brazilian Association of Investigative Journalism (Abraji in Portuguese) on Thursday, Aug. 9. As of June, at least 70 journalists and other news media professionals were killed worldwide because of their job -- that's 14 more journalists than the first six months of 2011.

The research points out that, despite the fighting in Syria, the majority of journalists killed worldwide happened during peaceful periods, and while journalists were covering local news about crime, politics, and corruption. INSI also noted that the impunity rate in crimes against journalists has remained steady during the last 10 years, at about 90 percent.

In Brazil, seven journalists were killed from January through the beginning of July: Laércio de SouzaMario Randolfo Marques LopesPaulo Roberto Cardoso RodriguesOnei de MouraDivino Aparecido CarvalhoDécio Sá, and Valério Luiz de Oliveira. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, the country has an impunity rate of 75 percent.

Mexico is the most hostile country for freedom of expression in the American continent, with eight killed journalists during the first half of the year, and a series of armed attacks against news outlet buildings.

According to INSI director Rodney Pinder, fire arms and bombs continue to be the preferred method for censorship in many countries. “Journalists are more than ever in sight of the enemies of freedom of expression. Every and any killing suffocates the flow of information, which no free society can function without,” he said in a press release.

Note from the editor: This story was originally published by the Knight Center’s blog Journalism in the Americas, the predecessor of LatAm Journalism Review.