GENEVA, July 21 Ukraine was the world's most
dangerous country for journalists in the first six months of
this year, media safety body INSI reported on Monday.
A total of seven reporters and their assistants were killed
in the country, where pro-Russian separatists in eastern regions
are fighting government forces, between Jan. 1 and June 30.
That was one more than in Iraq and two more than in Syria
and Pakistan, according to the London-based INSI's biannual
Journalist deaths worldwide jumped from 40 in the first half
of 2013 to 61 this year, the report showed.
In the whole of last year, a total of 110 journalists died
while reporting the news around the globe, according to INSI.
Among this year's Ukraine deaths were two Russian television
cameramen and a sound engineer, and an Italian reporter and his
Russian interpreter. All were covering the fighting in the east,
the International News Safety Insitute said.
But it added: "Countless other journalists in the region
have been threatened, attacked and kidnapped."
INSI, which is backed by leading world media organisations
including Reuters, provides courses on how to minimise risk for
both staff and independent reporters and back-up personnel
covering conflict situations.
In its latest survey, it said Iraq - for a decade among the
most dangerous countries for journalists - had seen a rise in
deaths since radical Islamist militias seized wide swathes of
territory in June and fought off government troops.
Worldwide so far in 2014, television reporters and their
crews made up by far the majority of victims for a total of 23,
with radio journalists at 16 and newspaper correspondents at 14.
News agencies lost six staffers.
(Reported by Robert Evans; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)