(Video 25 years of Reporters Without Borders)
(HN, 4/5/12) - Yesterday's suicide bombing at the newly opened National Theater of Somalia is now believed to have killed four people, including the nation's Olympics chief and FIFA head among them; just as a ceremony began in celebration of the Somali National Television's one-year anniversary.
It was meant to be a moment of lightness in the much darkness Somalia has experienced in 25-plus years of unrest, famine, and chaos.
It also - again - highlighted the dangerous situations global journalists contend with - even at an afternoon cultural event - to tell the story.
Journalism, on any stage, is never safe.
Various reports say that at least 10 journalists - four of them women - were seriously injured when the blast ripped through the theater 5 minutes into a speech by the Somali Prime Minister, Abdiwelli Mohamed.
Witnesses said they believed the bomber had been a female who mingled with the crowd before detonating. The explosion killed 4 people. The nation's Olympics chief and FIFA head among them.
The Al-Shabaab militant group has taken responsibility.
The hurt reporters are named as (SEE PHOTOS HERE): Said Shire Warsame of Shabelle TV, Ahmed Ali Kahiye of Radio Kulmiye; Ayaan Abdi (female) of S24 TV/Somalie 24 and Hamdi Mohamed Hassan Hiis (female) of Somali Channel TV; Deeqa Mohamed (female) of the state-run Radio Mogadishu/ Radio Mogadiscio; Mohamed Noor and Mohamed Sharif of Radio Bar-kulan; Somali National Television staffers and Abdulkadir Mohamed Hassan, and freelance journalists Suleiman Sheikh Ismail and Mulki Hassan Haile (female) of Royal TV.
By all accounts, being `on assignment' can sometimes mean life or death for a journalist - and not always glamorous.
DEATH AND IMPRISONMENT
Imprisonments of reporters worldwide shot up more than 20% to its highest level since the mid-1990s in 2011, according to the annual survey - an increase driven largely by widespread jailings across the Middle East and North Africa; finding, 179 writers, editors, and photojournalists behind bars on December 1. More than 34 higher than in 2010.
Losing their lives in 2011 were 46 journalists who were killed in the line of work around the world - undertaking dangerous assignments such as covering street protests and civil strife which reached a record level last year (2 more than 2010) as political unrest swept the Arab world.
Photographers and camera operators made up about 40% of the overall death toll and noted an increase in the deaths of Internet journalists - who rarely have appeared in the totals before - with nine killed last year.
(Video of the moment of blast in Somalia yesterday, captured - via The Guardian)
By all accounts approximately 22 journalists have died this year alone.
Ali Ahmed Abdi, Radio Galkayo, Puntlandi - 3/4/12 in Galkayo, Somalia
Rajesh Mishra, Media Raj - 3/4/12 in Rewa, India
Abukar Hassan Mohamoud, Somaliweyn Radio - 2/28/12 in Mogadishu, Somalia
Anas al-Tarsha, Freelance - 2/24/12 in Homs, Syria
Rémi Ochlik, Freelance - 2/22/12 in Homs, Syria
Marie Colvin, Sunday Times - 2/22/12 in Homs, Syria
Rami al-Sayed, Freelance - 2/21/12 in Homs, Syria
Mario Randolfo Lopes, Vassouras na Net - 2/9/12 in Barra do Piraí, Brazil
Mazhar Tayyara, Freelance - 2/4/12 in Homs, Syria
Hassan Osman Abdi, Shabelle Media Network - 1/28/12 in Mogadishu, Somalia
Enenche Akogwu, Channels TV - 1/20/12 in Kano, Nigeria
Mukarram Khan Aatif, Freelance - 1/17/12 in Shabqadar, Pakistan
Wisut "Ae" Tangwittayaporn, Inside Phuket - 1/12/12 in Phuket, Thailand
Gilles Jacquier, France 2 - 1/11/12 in Homs, Syria
Samid Khan Bahadarzai, Melma Radio - 2/21/12 in Orgun, Afghanistan
Chandrika Rai, Navbharat, The Hitavada - 2/18/12 in Umaria, India
Paulo Roberto Rodrigues, Jornal Da Praça, Mercosul - 2/12/12 in Ponta Porá, Brazil
Meherun Runi, ATN Bangla Television - 2/1112 in Dhaka, Bangladesh
Golam Mustofa Sarowar, Maasranga Television - 2/11/12 in Dhaka, Bangladesh
Nansok Sallah, Highland FM - 1/18/12 in Jos, Nigeria
Christopher Guarin, Radyo Mo Nationwide/Tatak - 1/5/12 in General Santos City, Philippines
Shukri Abu al-Burghul, Al-Thawra/Radio Damascus - 1/3/12 in Damascus, Syria