December 18, 2013

The Daily Star | The Huffington Post | RWB | CPJ

Bunyamin Aygun, a Turkish photographer working in Syria, has been missing for two weeks, according to a report in The Daily Star, a Lebanese publication. Aygun’s newspaper, The Milliyet, said Tuesday they hadn’t heard from him at all in that time, but The Daily Star reports that “some media outlets said he had been kidnapped by Al-Qaeda affiliates in Syria.”

For 2013, 87 journalists have been kidnapped around the world, according to a report Wednesday from Reporters Without Borders. That number marks a 129% rise from the year before.

In November, RWB declared Syria “the world’s most dangerous country for journalists.”

According to a Reporters Without Borders tally, more than 110 news providers have been killed in the course of their work in Syria since March 2011 and more than 60 are currently detained, held hostage or missing.

On Wednesday, Jack Mirkinson wrote in The Huffington Post about another number from the day’s report from RWB, reporting that 71 journalists were killed this year.

That’s down 20 percent from 2012, but RWB called it “very high.” Syria, India and the Philippines were the deadliest countries.
In a troubling trend, the number of journalist kidnappings skyrocketed to 87 — a 129 percent increase from 2012. Over half—49—of the kidnappings occurred in Syria.

Mirkinson also writes about a report released Wednesday from the Committee to Protect Journalists, marking 2013 as the “Second Worst Year on Record for Jailed Journalists.”

According to the report, “Turkey, Iran, and China accounted for more than half of all journalists imprisoned around the world in 2013.”

In 2013, only one U.S. journalist was jailed in the U.S., the report says.

Roger Shuler, an independent blogger specializing in allegations of corruption and scandal in Republican circles in Alabama, was being held on contempt of court for refusing to comply with an injunction regarding content ruled defamatory. In recent years, journalist jailings in the Americas have become increasingly rare, with one Cuban documented in prison in 2012 and none throughout the region in 2011.

U.S. journalists James Foley and Austin Tice have both been missing for more than a year now. Both were reporting from Syria.

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Kristen Hare teaches local journalists the critical skills they need to serve and cover their communities as Poynter's local news faculty member. Before joining faculty…
Kristen Hare

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