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2017; a challenging year for journalists

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2017; a challenging year for journalists
 The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) says 81 journalists and media staff were killed in targeted killings, car bomb attacks and crossfire incidents around the world during 2017 and another 250 were jailed. The US-based watchdog also welcomed the fall from 93 of last year to 81 in 2017.
The IFJ reports also says that media remained in the grip of extreme violence from insurgents in Afghanistan and the ruthless reign of organized crime groups in Mexico, the countries with the highest numbers of killings were Mexico (13), Afghanistan (11), Iraq (11), Syria (10), India (6), Philippines (4), Pakistan (4), Nigeria (3), Somalia (3) and Honduras (3).The IFJ said there were journalist casualties in other countries of the world as well.
According to the federation, the levels of violence in journalism remain unacceptably high and they find it most disturbing that the decreasein number of journalists killed cannot be linked to any measure by governments to tackle the impunity for these crimes targeting journalists. Instead, the patterns don’t change in the most violent countries.
On the other hand, the Afghanistan-based NAI, a media supporting agency claims about 21 journalists and media people were killed in 2017. It said about 41 journalists also suffered injuries across the country. According to NAI, about two media persons were killed and three others wounded monthly in 2017. The group added 85 journalists and media professionals had been killed since 2001 in Afghanistan.
Despite the media’s rapid growth since the fall of the Taliban in 2001, Afghan journalists and editors have been facing serious threats and challenges imposed by insurgent groups while the local authoritieshave also contributing to the climate of fear for media personnel. 
Violence against journalists in Afghanistan seriously limits media freedom in the country, affecting the work of civil society organizations (CSOs) and reducing the efficiency of development efforts in the country. 
Conflict zones are dangerous for the journalists. To provide true and timely information, the journalists have to move into or close to the places where wars and conflicts happen. They, therefore, put their lives at risk and try to fulfill their responsibilities. Different groups, organizations or countries in such zones must be very careful about the rights of journalists and make sure they are not targeted. 
However, that does not seem to happen, and many journalists lose their valuable lives every year. Moreover, because of the influence and approach of different extremist networks, the number of journalists losing their lives in the peaceful countries is also alarming. 
In democratic system, media considered as the fourth pillar; According to international conventions to which Afghanistan is a signatory and according to Article 50 of the Afghan Constitution, Right of Access to Information” is a fundamental human right for every Afghan citizen. It can play an important role in the fight against corruption and the right to access information increases transparency, accountability, public participation and democracy development.
So, it is necessary that human right organizations, government and local citizens strongly support media and journalist to monitor social, political or administrative issues, otherwise the nation would remain out of information and socio-political developments.