In Afghanistan and Iraq, local journalists have a big advantage over foreign correspondents, said Bob Dietz, Asia program coordinator for CPJ.
“The battlefield has become just too dangerous for anyone to walk around unprotected, and those local reporters who can do that, because they blend in, they fit in, they know all the players, they’re the ones increasingly at risk,” he said. “They are the ones we saw pay an incredible price in Iraq.”
According to CPJ’s impunity index, of the 88 unsolved journalist murders in Iraq over the past decade, all but seven cases involved local journalists.
Local journalists in Afghanistan are at greatest risk when they are with a foreigner, Dietz said. Foreigners are more likely to be kidnapped and later released. The more common fate for the local journalists, he said: they are killed.