Washington, Feb 24 (DPA) A total of 141 journalists and media workers were murdered by organized criminal groups between 2000 and 2010, the group Reporters Without Borders said in a report issued Wednesday.
The report said that organized crime’s mafias and cartels now pose the biggest threat to media freedom, replacing “the world’s remaining dictatorial regimes as the biggest source of physical danger to journalists”.
The report identified Mexico as the worst country for the targeting of journalists by organized crime groups, with 69 journalists killed since 2000, and a further 11 missing since 2003.
Unfortunately the targeting of journalists by organized crime groups appears to be remarkably effective in curtailing effective coverage of criminal organizations, the report said.
“Obliged to chase after the news and constantly opposed to danger, most journalists do not succeed in providing anything more than quick and superficial coverage that is often third-rate,” the study noted.
In such situations the media often become a tool for spreading one organization’s bad publicity about a rival. Or it ends up restricting itself to just quoting official figures, even when there is apparent collusion between authorities and organized crime.