Global community 'must act to protect journalists'

Delegates called for political pressure on the international community to protect journalists to be stepped up.

They
said focusing on safety measures and hostile environment training for
journalists could not halt the growing number of deaths.

According
to INSI statistics, 83 journalists have been killed this year –
however, the majority were killed reporting on their local patch.

A total of 94 media staff have been killed in Iraq in two-and-a-half years – more than in Vietnam in 20 years.

In
Iraq, the US armed forces were criticised for killing and detaining
journalists – who in most cases were on the scene of insurgent attacks
– and for failing to carry out independent inquiries into their deaths
or detainment.

CBS, Reuters and Al Jazeera all had cases of journalists who had suffered in this way.

Marcy
McGinnis, senior vicepresident of news coverage at CBS, said one of its
staff who had been hired in Iraq was arrested in April last year and
that neither CBS nor his family had had any access to him or seen any
evidence against him.

“If there’s evidence against him let us see it; if there’s not let him go,” she said.

Danny
Schechter, executive editor of mediachannel.org, said the US press
corps should turn its back on the Pentagon the next time it holds a
press conference, to demonstrate against the way it has treated
journalists in Iraq.

Describing reporting conditions in Iraq,
Reuters Iraq bureau chief Alastair MacDonald said: “We are still making
a contribution, but we have a great many difficulties to overcome.

“The US military authorities and Iraqi government could do more to help us operate and enable free reporting.

“We want to concentrate on getting foreign journalists out into the field.”

Head
of global news at the BBC, Richard Sambrook, gave an update on the INSI
global inquiry that he is chairing into the rising death toll among
journalists.

He said the committee was in talks with the UN to bring about a Security Council resolution to protect freedom of speech.

“We
are also talking to leading international lawyers in Geneva and the
OECD about starting a risk index on dangerous countries to report in
around the world. Exerting pressure by naming and shaming governments
would have more leverage,” he said.

Web links: www.cpj.org www.newssafety.com www.ifj.org

Comments
No comments to display

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

thirteen − 11 =

CLOSE
CLOSE