Geneva: Nearly 500 journalists have died from Covid-19 in 56 countries in nine months, the Press Emblem Campaign (PEC) said in its monthly report on Tuesday. During the month of November, 47 more media workers succumbed to the coronavirus, compared to 22 known deaths in October.

“Unfortunately, the pandemic is claiming more and more victims in the media. It’s a huge loss. In countries like India, Brazil, Argentina and Mexico, the number of victims among journalists is on the rise,” said PEC General Secretary Blaise Lempen.

By region, of the 489 journalists who have died from Covid-19 since March 1, Latin America is leading with more than half of the victims, or 276 deaths (25 more in a month). Asia follows with 125 dead (ten more), ahead of Europe (38 deaths, seven more), North America (26, three more) and Africa (24, two more).

Peru remains the country with the heaviest death toll, where 93 media workers have died from coronavirus since March (according to the Peruvian National Association of Journalists, unchanged). India is now the second worst affected country with 51 deaths (four more in a month). Brazil took third place with 43 victims (seven more), ahead of Ecuador 41 dead (unchanged), Bangladesh (39 deaths, four more) and Mexico (33 dead, seven more in a month). The United States follows in seventh place with 25 victims (three more), ahead of Pakistan (12), Panama (11) and Bolivia (9). In the UK, the most affected European country, two more journalists died in November, a total of 10 since March. Next countries are Nigeria (8), Afghanistan (7), Dominican Republic (7), Honduras (7), Argentina (6, four more), Nicaragua (6), Venezuela (6), then 5 dead in Colombia, 5 in France, 5 in Russia, 5 in Spain, and 4 in Italy. Three journalists died from Covid-19 in each of these countries: Cameroon, Egypt, Guatemala, Iran, Nepal and El Salvador. Two deaths are known in the following countries: Algeria, Indonesia, Morocco, Paraguay, South Africa and Sweden. Finally, the PEC has identified at least one death in the following 21 countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Democratic Republic of Congo, Germany, Iraq (Kurdistan), Israel, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland ,Tajikistan, Togo, Turkey, and Zimbabwe. The average age of journalists who died in November (those whose age is known or three-quarters of the 47 recorded deaths) is 56. Just over a third of the victims were under 60 years old. The actual number of victims is certainly higher, as the cause of journalists’ deaths is sometimes not specified or their deaths not announced. Statistics can be misleading, because the countries that provide information are in the lead, while in other countries there is no reliable information. The PEC tally is based on information from local media, national associations of journalists and regional PEC correspondents. List of victims on: www.pressemblem.ch

Source: PEC

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