UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Four journalists told the U.N.'s most powerful body that world leaders should do more to protect reporters risking their lives to bear witness to conflicts around the globe and ensure their right to work without fear of death or intimidation.

Associated Press Executive Editor Kathleen Carroll told the council "an attack on a journalist is a proxy for an attack on the ordinary citizen."

Mustafa Hajji Abdinur, of Agence France Presse, said like so many reporters working in Somalia he's called "a dead man walking."

The Security Council invited journalists to brief members for the first time Wednesday, at U.S. instigation.

U.N. Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson called independent media "the life-blood" of democratic discourse and decried the killing of more than 600 journalists in the past decade.