Bloodshed in the country has reached a level unseen since Bush left office. Devout Muslims have been targeting journalists in Iraq and Syria, to send an all-too-clear message to the media.
"Gunmen kill TV presenter Nawras al-Nuaimi at her home in Iraq" By News.com.Au, December 16, 2013
GUNMEN murdered a female TV presenter in northern Iraq on Sunday, her station and police said, making her the sixth journalist to be killed in the country since October.
Nawras al-Nuaimi was shot near her home in Mosul, Al-Mosuliyah TV said, and was the fifth journalist killed in the northern city in the same period.
Mostly Sunni Arab Mosul is one of the most dangerous cities in Iraq, with militants frequently carrying out attacks and reportedly extorting money from shopkeepers.
On December 5, Kawa Ahmed Germyani, the editor-in-chief of Rayal magazine and a correspondent for Awene newspaper, was gunned down in front of his mother in Kalar, Sulaimaniyah province, in the autonomous Kurdistan region.
Following that killing, media rights watchdog Reporters Without Borders said it was "worried about the very dangerous climate for journalists both in Iraqi Kurdistan and the rest of Iraq, and about the impunity enjoyed by their attackers and killers."
Germyani's death followed that of Alaa Edwar, a Christian journalist working for the Nineveh al-Ghad television network, who was shot dead in Mosul in November.
Al-Mosuliyah cameraman Bashar Abdulqader Najm and two journalists from the Sharqiya television channel -- correspondent Mohammed Karim al-Badrani and cameraman Mohammed Ghanem -- were killed in Mosul in October.
Iraq has come in for repeated criticism over shortcomings in media freedom, and ranks first in the Committee to Protect Journalists' Impunity Index, which tracks unsolved murders of journalists.
Bloodshed in the country has reached a level unseen since 2008, when Iraq was emerging from a period of brutal sectarian conflict.
More than 6,400 people have been killed in violence since the beginning of the year, according to AFP figures based on security and medical sources.