2013 Was A Terrible Year To Be A Journalist

ThinkProgress may have called 2013 the best year in human history, but international journalists would likely disagree. The year — with its worldwide conflict and persistent surveillance states — proved a challenging one for those reporting around the world, with massive numbers of journalist kidnappings and imprisonment.

The number of journalists who were kidnapped this year jumped by 129 percent from last year, according to a survey from Reporters Without Borders. And while the number of journalists killed fell to 71, the amount who say they were physically threatened or injured rose by 9 percent — to 2,160.

Much of that trauma took place in Syria, where the turmoil of civil war remains a threat not just to citizens but to those working to convey what’s going on there. Ten of the journalists killed in 2013 were in Syria, twelve were jailed by the Assad regime, and 30 additional journalists in Syria have simply gone missing.

But nations in conflict aren’t the only dangerous places to be a journalist. Thanks to states notorious for maintaining a tight reign on their citizens, the Committee to Protect Journalists has also deemed 2013 the second-worst year on record for jailed reporters and photojournalists. Exceeded only by 2012 in the number of journalists imprisoned, a total 211 journalists wound up in jail around the world this year. Half of them were jailed in just three countries: Turkey, Iran, and China.