The Committee to Protect Journalists says at least 68 journalists were killed in 2009, the highest one-year tally ever documented by the press advocacy group.

NEW YORK — The Committee to Protect Journalists says at least 68 journalists were killed in 2009, the highest one-year tally ever documented by the press advocacy group.

The record toll was largely due to the slaughter of 30 media workers in the Philippine province of Maguindanao on Nov. 23. The number was 60 percent higher than the 42 deaths recorded in 2008.

Without the Philippine killings, the number of journalists killed would have been 38, or slightly lower than the 2008 figure.

CPJ Deputy Director Robert Mahoney said Wednesday the killings still represented a disturbing trend, especially in Somalia where nine journalists were killed.

The previous high total was 67 deaths recorded in 2007.