When journalism comes under fire
Earlier this month, my colleagues Paul Wood, Fred Scott and Kevin Sweeney were smuggled into Syria.
The BBC's Abdullah Ghorab was attacked in Yemen
Their reports made headlines around the world - they were the only international news team in Homs as President Assad's forces began bombarding the city.
Last week, a remarkable documentary on the World Service captured the courage and commitment needed to bring such stories to international attention. But too many in our profession pay a heavy price.
During 2011, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) says 46 journalists lost their lives, covering conflicts from Pakistan to Somalia, Mexico to Libya.
Tragically, 2012 is already on course to outstrip that grim toll: a further six journalists have been killed in the first six weeks of this year.
We can never eliminate the risk of operating in places like Libya or Syria - only try to manage it to an acceptable level.
But in their annual report published today, the CPJ warns of a new risk - one that is more difficult to manage. It suggests regimes are finding new ways to censor the media and silence dissent.
During the uprisings across the Arab World, the internet has been a vital newsgathering tool.
Twitter and Facebook have been a source of information and video in places like Bahrain and Yemen, as well as Libya and Syria where the authorities have refused to allow access to the international media. But censorship is still alive and well.
In Homs, it became clear that the Syrian military were trying to jam our satellite equipment to prevent us reporting from the besieged city.
Earlier this month, we revealed how the Iranian government was trying to intimidate colleagues working for the BBC's Persian Service outside Iran by targeting family members who still live inside the country.
Passports of family members have been confiscated, preventing them from leaving Iran. Some of my colleagues have had their Facebook and email accounts hacked.
Ten days ago BBC Arabic reporter Abdullah Ghorab was attacked in Yemen, by a gang thought to be supporters of the outgoing president Ali Abdullah Saleh. His two brothers, who were with him, were badly beaten.
It was the third time Ghorab had been assaulted in Yemen, and he's also been verbally attacked by the country's deputy information minister.
Today, the CPJ warns that regimes may try to crack down further, precisely because they fear their ability to control the flow of information is weakening.
A year ago in Libya - two days after the start of the uprising that would bring down Colonel Gaddafi - an internet TV station started webcasting from Benghazi.
Long before international reporters made it to Libya, Alhurra TV (Free TV) was streaming footage online, allowing the world to see what was going on inside the country.
The authorities tried to shut down the internet to silence the station but, thanks to the ingenuity of its founder Mo Nabbous and his colleagues, government blocks were bypassed and the webcast was able to continue.
A month later, Nabbous was dead - killed by pro-Gaddafi troops in the battle for Benghazi.
A year on, those in Syria are following in Nabbous's footsteps. In Homs, activists have been using the Swedish website Bambuser to live stream pictures from inside the besieged city.
The CPJ is calling for the creation of a worldwide coalition against censorship made up of pressure groups, governments and businesses.
It's not just the BBC that faces difficulties - and not just Syria and Iran where we have problems. The internet has enabled millions to communicate more openly.
But that new-found freedom cannot be taken for granted.
Jon Williams is the BBC World News editor.