01 January 2008

Spare a thought

As we usher in 2008, please spare a thought for the 171 journalists killed while working in 2007. Many of those who died did so bringing you the news from major conflict zones around the world. It's a seasonal reminder that journalism can be a very dangerous occupation and it's not all about celebrity stories in the tabloids. I mentioned Alan Johnston yesterday - he was lucky to come home alive, unlike his colleagues.

Statistics like this make me realise how fortunate I am to work from the comfort of Wordsmith Towers, where I don't have to wear a bullet-proof vest or stay on permanent alert for suicide bombers or other hazards. Nipping to the corner shop for a packet of biscuits is a welcome break, not a dash across Sniper Alley. And getting a story together involves chatting on the phone instead of venturing into hostile territory.

The only good news is that the death toll is slighter lower than that of 2006 (177). Let's hope that this year, the total will be even lower.

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