An average of almost two journalists were killed each week last year as they went about their work, the International News Safety Institute has reported.
The INSI report that 97 journalists were killed in 2010, 85 of whom were murdered, while in the course of their duty.
While high, the total is down from 133 killed in 2009 when 32 journalists were killed in one incident in the Philippines.
Pakistan was the most dangerous country in which to be a reporter last year with 16 deaths.
Mexico and Honduras, with ten deaths each, were joint second on the list of most dangerous countries in which to be a journalist.
According to INSI, just twelve of the 97 deaths were the result of accidental killings.
Eight journalists were killed in crossfire and a further four in accidents, including a cameraman in Guatemala who was hit by lava and rocks as he tried to film a volcanic eruption.
“While we welcome a fall in fatalities overall, the sustained underlying level of casualties remains unacceptably high,” said Rodney Pinder, INSI director.
“It is a terrible price to pay for our news.”
He added: “Journalists need to be able to look after themselves, especially where their states do not live up to their responsibilities for the care and protection of their citizens.
“Our training works, but regrettably it is not enough where nations shrug off murder.”
The INSI compiled its casualty data by working with the International Federation of Journalists and Cardiff University’s Centre for Journalism Studies.