150 journalist deaths makes 2005 a record year

The loss of dozens of journalists in an Iranian plane crash and relentless targeting of the press in Iraq pushed the total number of media professionals killed around the world to a record 150 in 2005, the International Federation of Journalists said in a report due for release Monday. The organization's annual report said last year saw a rising trend toward "targeted assassination of editorial staff" with 89 "killed in the line of duty, singled out for their professional work." The rest died in accidents or natural disasters while at work, including the 48 Iranians killed in the Dec. 6 plane crash in Tehran. In 2004, the IFJ reported 129 media deaths, the highest total since it began keeping records in the 1980s. That figure was compiled before the Dec. 26, 2004, Asian tsunami which left at least 11 journalists dead and 78 missing.