What countries are most dangerous for journalists? Both conventional wisdom and extant literature on political violence, democracy, and reporter fatalities suggest that more democratic systems should make journalists safer. However, we argue that a more democratic context makes it easier for journalists to pursue stories that put them at risk and that they are thus more likely to be killed by actors trying to avoid the spotlight and exposure. Conversely, autocratic regimes provide fewer opportunities to pursue dangerous leads, thereby reducing the chance of being killed. Using novel cross-national data on the number of journalist killings between 1992 and 2008, we find that these arguments are generally supported when controlling for other factors that affect the killing of journalists, such as poor governance and political conflict.
Asal, Victor, Matthew Krain, Amanda Murdie, and Brandon Kennedy. "Killing the Messenger: Regime Type as a Determinant of Journalist Killing, 1992-2008." Foreign Policy Analysis (March). http://fpa.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2016/03/31/fpa.orw007