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71 journalists killed in 2015: PEC report

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Geneva: A total of 71 journalists were killed from January to June of 2015 in 24 countries, a 7 percent increase over the same period last year, a Press Emblem Campaign (PEC) report said.

At least 24 journalists were killed in targeted terrorist acts, mostly in France, Libya and Iraq, and 17 journalists died covering fighting in Yemen, Libya, Iraq, Syria, South Sudan and Ukraine.

The other 30 journalists were murdered in criminal acts outside war zones, especially in Latin America, the Philippines and India, the report said.

According to the report, the Middle East and North Africa are the deadliest regions for media work with 23 journalists killed, Xinhua reported.

“Four countries in this region are the deadliest: Libya (eight), Yemen (six), Iraq (six) and Syria (two) and Gaza (one),” the report said.

It said fewer and fewer journalists were taking the risk to cover Syria because of the extreme dangers.

Latin America follows the Middle East with 17 journalists killed in seven countries, especially in Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala.

According to the report, Europe comes in the third place with 13 deaths. It is the first time Europe lost so many journalists since the war in ex-Yugoslavia during the 1990s.

Eight journalists were killed during the attack on Charlie Hebdo magazine office in Paris, and four others in Ukraine, while one more journalist was killed in an isolated crime in Poland.

Africa is in fourth place with nine journalists killed mainly due to the war in South Sudan where six journalists died, five of them ambushed together.

In an earlier report, PEC said 2014 had become the second deadliest year for journalists over 10 years, with at least 138 journalists killed by the end of the year.

Founded in June 2004 and based in Geneva, PEC says it aims to strengthen the legal protection and safety of journalists in zones of conflict and civil unrest or in dangerous missions.

(IANS)

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Americans Tend to Rely on Social Media for News which is often Unreliable: Report

Those who rely on social media and peers for news, on the other hand, don't see those platforms as reliable yet still choose to get their news from these sources

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Social Media
The findings of a research suggest that perceived reliability is not the only factor that drives what Americans choose as their go-to News sources on Social Media. Pixabay

Owing to lack of time and competing demands, one-third of Americans rely on news platforms they acknowledge are less reliable, mainly social media and peers, says a new report.

The other two-thirds of the public consider their primary news sources trustworthy, mainly print news and broadcast television, according to the report from California-based non-profit RAND Corporation.

“A lack of time and competing demands may explain why a third of Americans turn to news sources they deem less reliable, which suggests improving the quality of news content or teaching people how to ‘better consume’ news isn’t enough to address ‘Truth Decay,'” said Jennifer Kavanagh, senior political scientist and co-author of the report.

“Media companies and other news providers may need to provide more easily accessible and digestible ways for individuals to consume high quality investigative journalism”.

“Truth Decay” is a phenomenon defined as diminishing reliance on facts, data and analysis in public life.

The report draws from a national survey of 2,543 Americans to examine how reliability, demographics and political partisanship factor into news choices and how often people seek out differing viewpoints in the news.

About 44 per cent of respondents reported that news is as reliable now as in the past, while 41 per cent said it has become less reliable and 15 per cent – mostly women, racial and ethnic minorities and those without college degrees – said it is more reliable.

Social Media
Owing to lack of time and competing demands, one-third of Americans rely on News platforms they acknowledge are less reliable, mainly Social Media and peers, says a new report. Pixabay

Respondents who lean on print and broadcast platforms were more likely to deem them reliable.

Those who rely on social media and peers for news, on the other hand, don’t see those platforms as reliable yet still choose to get their news from these sources.

“The findings suggest that perceived reliability is not the only factor that drives what Americans choose as their go-to news sources,” said Michael Pollard, a sociologist and lead author of the report.
“Despite acknowledging that there are more reliable sources for news, people with demands on their time may be limited to using less reliable platforms.”

Asked whether they ever seek out alternate viewpoints when catching up on the news, 54 per cent said they “sometimes” do, 20 percent said, “always or almost always,” 17 per cent said “infrequently,” and 9 percent said, “never or almost never.”

The report also identified the four most common combinations of news media types consumed by Americans: print publications and broadcast television, online, radio, and social media and peers.

Those who are college-educated were less likely to get their news from social media and peers, instead opting for radio and online sources.

Social Media
Media companies and other News providers may need to provide more easily accessible and digestible ways for individuals to consume high quality investigative journalism, especially on Social Media. Pixabay

Those with less than a college education were more likely to report “never or almost never” seeking out news with alternate viewpoints.

“Those who are married were three times more likely than singles to rate their peers as the most reliable source for news,” said the report.

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Unmarried people were more likely than married people to report they “always or almost always” seek out sources with differing views. (IANS)