Ampatuan (Maguindanao) Massacre–a World Record!


No other media killing anywhere in the world has reached that number–32 journalists killed at one time. The fallen journalists were among the 57 people brutally killed allegedly by the group led by former Mayor Andal Ampatuan on November 23, 2009 in the town of Ampatuan, Maguindanao, Southern Philippines.

The “Maguindanao Massacre” as it has been known to many shocked the international media community. I preferred to use “Ampatuan Massacre” in this post to refer to the killing because aside from being attributed to the Ampatuan Clan of Maguindanao, the incident happened in the town of Ampatuan.

That tragic incident has been given prominence in the Reporters Without Borders (Reporters Sans Frontieres) web site.

Along with three other countries, the Philippine’s rating in the RSF’s World Press Freedom Index 2010 got a heavy fall. Compared to the 2009 Index, the Philippines is downed by as much as 34 places– from 122nd to 156th place. This is mainly due to the “Ampatuan Massacre“. Here’s the comparative tables for the index since 2007:

World Press Freedom Index 2007

World Press Freedom Index 2008

World Press Freedom Index 2009

World Press Freedom Index 2010

In coming out with the 2010 index, the Reporters Without Borders use this barometer as a basis along with the 43 criteria. Of the 37 journalists killed during the survey period, 32 were victims of the “Ampatuan Massacre“.

World Press Freedom Index barometer

The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) listed the Philippines as the most deadliest country for journalists in 2009 because of the “Ampatuan Massacre“. For 2010, though we are no longer in the top spot but CPJ still listed Philippines in the top five next to Pakistan, Iraq, Honduras and Mexico.

2009 Deadliest Countries for Journalists (by CPJ)

2010 Deadliest Countries for Journalists (by CPJ)

What is worth-noting for the Philippine figures since 1992 is that most of the victims  were covering politics.

Philippine Journalists Killing, 1992-2010

*Screen shots are taken from the sites: http://www.rsf.org & http://cpj.org/

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