13 journalists killed in Pakistan, five in India this year
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Pakistan saw the highest number of journalists losing their lives in South Asia with 13 of them dying in the line of duty, followed by India with five among a total of 25 media persons falling victim to violence.
"In 2012, South Asia- the most volatile region- mourned the murder of 25 media persons, with Pakistan again remaining in the lead. 13 journalists lost their lives in Pakistan, followed by five in India, three in Bangladesh, and two each in Nepal and Afghanistan," a report of the South Asia Media Monitor said.
The report states that though no journalist was killed in Sri Lanka, Bhutan and the Maldives, mediapersons there continued to face professional challenges and hazards.
"The media also came under scrutiny for laxity in professionalism in achieving accuracy and being unbiased," the report said.
Insurgency affected Balochistan and the northern parts of Pakistan were the most dangerous areas with the range of threats and trauma growing.
In India, five killings point to the dangers journalism faced apart from the constant pressure of commercialisation. Tensions persisted in the conflict prone regions such as Kashmir, the report said.
It claimed that journalists working in North-East India face threats from both the Maoists and the security agencies.
In Sri Lanka, media has seen no major improvement even after the end of the civil strife there, the report said.
The Indian journalists who lost their lives in 2012 were Chandrika Rai, Rajesh Mishra, Raihan Nayum, Chaitali Santra and Thangjam Dijamani.
Journalists working in Jammu and Kashmir, North Eastern states and Jharkhand were targeted.
"Ironically, there were mini-conflict zones in 'normal' states as well," the report said.
South Asia Media Monitor rued that there was little advance towards evolving a credible regulatory mechanism.
"Self-regulation in the electronic media touched only the fringe of TV programmes while it was not even tried in the print media. All were, however, opposed to government control in any form," the report said.