In 2022, killings of journalists and media workers rose 50 percent to reach 86 worldwide, marking one death every four days, according to UN cultural body Unesco.
The increase last year followed by a rise in violence against reporters last year, with an average of 58 killings annually in 2019 -- 21.
After several years of consecutive declines, the rise in the number of journalists killed in 2022 is alarming, according to Audrey Azoulay, director-general of Unesco.
She said that authorities must step up their efforts to stop these crimes and make sure their perpetrators are punished because indifference is a major factor in this climate of violence.
86 percent of cases were brought to justice, according to Unesco.
The motivations for killing journalists included reprisals for reporting on organised crime, armed conflict or the rise of extremism, and covering sensitive topics such as corruption, environmental crimes, abuse of power and protests, according to UNESCO.
More than half of the journalists killed in 2022 were in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Three-quarters of the killings took place outside of full-scale conflicts.
Mexico was the deadliest country in the world with 19 killed, followed by Ukraine, which has been battling the Russian invasion, at 10 dead and Haiti at nine.
According to Unesco, about half of the journalists it had killed last year were off duty, struck while travelling, in their homes, or in parking lots, or in other public places where they were not on assignment.
Beyond killings, reporters can face multiple forms of violence including kidnapping, arbitrary detention, legal harassment and digital violence, particularly against women, according to Unesco.