I've been reading a report on how to safeguard foreign journalists by Beth Howe, a researcher at the Kennedy School of Government, prepared for the Newspaper Association of America.
It's full of revealing and shocking statistics such as:
* The fatality rate suggests that the job of foreign journalist is one of the most dangerous professions in America -- more dangerous than timber cutter, fisherman, pilot or coal miner.
* The fatality rate for freelancers is nearly three times higher than for staff journalists. Howe says there's anecdotal evidence that freelancers are often required to take risks that staff journalists cannot and will not take.
* 71% of the deaths recorded of foreign journalists were homicides, 27% were accidents -- just 2% were caused by illness.
Howe notes that "as the costs of communication and transportation continue to drop, it is likely that the number of foreign journalists reporting from war zones will rise." Unfortunately, more journalists is likely to equal more fatalities. It's a sobering thought.
Discuss "Beyond Northern Iraq"