PARIS, AP – More journalists and media staffers have been killed during the Iraq war than during any conflict since World War II, Reporters Without Borders said Monday, the third anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.
A total of 84 reporters and media staffers have been killed in the Iraq war — including eight this year — according to a report by the Paris-based media advocacy group. That was more than the 63 journalists killed during 22 years of conflict in Vietnam, the statement said.
The Iraq war death toll also has exceeded the number of journalists and staffers killed during conflicts in the former Yugoslavia and Algeria, the statement said. The group said it was difficult to calculate a comparable number for World War II, partly because tallies at the time did not include staff members such as translators or drivers.
More than half the journalists killed in Iraq have been deliberately targeted, Reporters Without Borders said, adding that “the rate was much higher than in previous wars” where indiscriminate attacks and stray bullets were the main causes of death.
Of those killed, 77 percent were Iraqis, many while working for foreign media in the country, the report said.
“The heavy media coverage of the war in Iraq has placed journalists center-stage,” the report said, adding that journalists have become targets regardless of their nationalities.