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Even as new year 2022 has arrived, there was one good news from 2021. The  International Federation of Journalists has said that 2021 was ‘one of the lowest death tolls’ it had recorded for any year. A total of 45 journalists were killed across the globe in 2021. Among them nine killed in  Afghanistan including Reuters cameraperson Danish Siddiqui. Eight journalists were killed in Mexico and four in India and three in Pakistan.

One may welcome the figure of 45 but the rise in communal violence is a big challenge. “While this decrease is welcome news, it is small comfort in the face of continued violence,” IFJ said in a statement on Friday. It was not just IFJ but Reporters Without Borders (RSF) had reported that 46 killings of journalists have been reported in 2021. RSF had reported it two weeks ago adding that it was the lowest-ever since starting its tallies in 1995.

At the regional level, the figures showed that Asia Pacific was the deadliest, with 20 killings. The Americas followed as the second deadliest with 10. In third place was Africa with eight. According to IFJ, media workers “more often than not are killed for exposing corruption, crime and abuse of power in their communities, cities and countries”. Europe had six journalists killed, while the Middle East and Arab countries had just one. According to IFJ, “the risks associated with armed conflict have reduced in recent years” due to less journalists being able to report on the ground.

Meanwhile, Non-profit Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has reported that the number of journalists behind bars has reached a global high in 2021 with 293 reporters imprisoned worldwide as of December 1 this year.