The new report from Reporters Without Borders on the safety of world journalists is depressing for the very “good” news it brings. Namely, in 2008 there were fewer reporters killed on assignment (60) than during last year (87). However, in another reminder — however grim — of the growth of Internet journalism, one blogger, a Chinese businessman named Wei Wenhua, was beaten to death by municipal cops while he was filming a demonstration. (It was the first such recording by RWB of a citizen-journalist's death.) Meanwhile, 59 bloggers were arrested — and 45 physically attacked — in such countries as Iran, Syria and Burma. These reporters may work in cyberspace, but the brick-and-mortar jails they see are very real.

Base photo: TypewriterMuseum.org

LA Weekly