At least 65 media workers were killed doing their jobs this year, Reporters Without Borders said in a report on Tuesday.

As many as 50 of them were professional journalists, seven were citizen journalists and eight others were media workers, the organisation said.

While 26 were killed on the field – in airstrikes or bombings – 39 were “deliberately targeted” for their reporting and murdered, Reporters Without Borders said in its report.

Twice as many female journalists were killed in 2017, compared to the year before. The report said 10 female journalists were killed in 2017, and that many of them were “determined investigative reporters with an abrasive writing style”, who “continued to investigate and expose corruption and other cases involving politicians or criminal groups” in spite of threats.

“They they paid for this with their lives,” the organisation said.

As an example, the report cited Bengaluru journalist Gauri Lankesh, who was shot dead by gunmen at her doorstep in September.

However, the report said the toll in 2017 was lower than in 2016, when 79 media workers were killed. It said 2017 was the least deadly year for professional journalists in 14 years, but added that this was perhaps because journalists left countries that had become dangerous.

“It’s alarming that so many journalists were murdered outside of war zones,” Katja Gloger, a board member of Reporters Without Borders, said, according to Reuters. “In far too many countries, perpetrators can assume they’ll get off scot-free if they’re violent towards media professionals.”