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Journalists Killed In Syria: Mandates And Assumptions In Computing Numbers

December 31, 2013

An issue that comes up when speaking about extrajudicial killing, disappearances, imprisonment or exiled journalists is that the numbers compiled by media watchdogs do not always tally. This blog referred to discrepancies in the numbers of imprisoned journalists in the computation by Reporters without Borders (RSF) and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) in its post of December 19.
Numbers matter. But discrepancies usually occur not because of intentional falsification of figures or careless errors, but because organisations adopt differing assumptions or criteria used to compute the numbers.
On December 30, CPJ posts an article on an important issue that has been in the news – the number of journalists killed in Syria in 2013. It says it is 29. But the authors of the post Jason Stern and Mark Robson also tell us how they arrived at the figure.
“Other organizations that do similar reporting, like Reporters Without Borders, SKeyes, and the Syrian Journalists Association, all do tremendous work. They face the same challenges and debate the same questions we do, even as they may differ in mandates and methods. As a result, we have all arrived at different numbers of journalists killed in Syria this year. But ultimately we all agree on one fact: Syria is the deadliest country in the world to work as a journalist,” they write.
You can read the post here
Dispatches from AFP concerning freedom of information, censorship and news coverage in regions where independent media is under threat.