The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) says at least 70 journalists were killed around the world in 2013, including 29 who died covering the Syrian war and 10 killed in Iraq.
It is the third-highest annual toll since the group began tracking journalist deaths in 1992.
The group said six journalists died in Egypt in 2013 and five in Pakistan.
The CPJ’s deputy director, Robert Mahoney, said in a statement: "The Middle East has become a killing field for journalists."
He added: "The civil war in Syria and a renewal of sectarian attacks in Iraq have taken an agonizing toll."
He called on the international community to pressure governments and armed groups to respect the civilian status of reporters and prosecute the killers of journalists.
Based on reporting by AP and RFE/RL