Pakistan continues to be one of the most dangerous countries in the world for media personnel in 2011, Reporters Without Borders claimed this week.

Publishing interviews with four Pakistani journalists, the press freedom group reported that 13 journalists have been killed in the country in the past 13 months.

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists' annual death toll published at the end of the last, at least eight journalists were killed in Pakistan in connection with their work in 2010, making it the world's "deadliest country" for the press.

"With its tribal northwest, its border with Afghanistan, its tension with India and its chaotic political history, Pakistan is one of the world’s most complex nations and its journalists confront a daunting array of problems that include terrorist threats, police violence, the unbridled power of local potentates and dangerous conflicts in the Tribal Areas," Reporters Without Borders claimed.

"The Pakistani media are still young and often inexperienced. Due to a lack of resources and ignorance of protective mechanisms, news media often send their reporters out on the most dangerous assignments without any kind of safety net. At the same time, the authorities have little consideration for a profession that keeps on raising awkward issues."

In one of the interviews Iqbal Khattak, a Peshawar-based editor of the Daily Times and correspondent for Reporters Without Borders, explains what the working life is like for journalists in the country.

"We are working in the worst possible security situation. The media are under fire from all sides. As you know, truth is the first casualty in any conflict and this situation is no exception. No side is willing to let the truth come out.

"Journalists in a country where there is no conflict and where the security situation is good will have few worries about being threatened, kidnapped and killed. We have to be ready for anything to happen any time. A journalist’s daily routine must consider security issues. He is not given the security training that journalists in other countries get.

"Efforts were made to provide journalists with security training, but not everyone was trained. They don’t know about survival mechanisms and how to minimize the threat level."

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