Journalism is a dangerous profession in many parts of the world, concludes a 2010 report on journalists' safety by Reporters Without Borders.
In the past year, 51 journalists were kidnapped or used as bargaining chips, the report says. This was a substantial jump from 2008, which saw only 29 cases. Although markedly fewer journalists were killed in 2010 than in previous years, violence against journalists continues to diversify, occurring in new countries and regions.
According to the report, journalists are seen less and less as impartial observers. They are taken captive in order to raise publicity, send a message to the public and make governments comply with demands. In 2010 this risk was particularly high for journalists in Afghanistan and Nigeria.
Overall, the three most dangerous countries for journalists remained Pakistan, Iraq and Mexico. However this year, 57 journalists were killed in connection with their work in 25 countries. This is the highest number of countries on the list since RSF began their survey in 1995.
To read more about journalists' safety, censorship and oppression, see the report here.