Nearly 1,700 journalists have been killed worldwide over the past 20 years, an average of more than 80 a year, according to an analysis published by Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

The two decades between 2003 and 2022 were “especially deadly decades for those in the service of the right to inform”, said the Paris-based media rights campaigners.

Iraq and Syria were the most dangerous countries to work as a journalist, accounting for “a combined total of 578 journalists killed in the past 20 years

They are followed by Mexico (125 killed), the Philippines (107), Pakistan (93), Afghanistan (81) and Somalia (78).

The “darkest years” were 2012 and 2013, “due in large measure to the war in Syria”. There were 144 killings in 2012 and 142 the year after, the report said.

Deaths increased again in 2022, in part because of the war in Ukraine. So far this year, 58 journalists have been killed doing their jobs, up from 51 in 2021.

Eight journalists have been killed in Ukraine since Russia launched a full-scale invasion of the country on February 24

Ukraine is currently the most dangerous country in Europe for the media, after Russia itself, where 25 journalists have been killed over the past 20 years.