Global Report 28.01.05

NEW YORK

The board of directors of the Paris Review is initiating major
changes to the celebrated literary journal, including replacing the
young editor, who stepped in less than two years ago to succeed George
Plimpton.Though the board was “enormously grateful”for brigid Hughes’
hard work since longtime editor Plimpton’s death in September 2003, her
contract was not renewed. Hughes told the Associated Press she had
received no indication anyone was unhappy with her. She was told the
board wanted a “new direction” for the quarterly. Hughes was just 30
when she started the job and acknowledged she had big shoes to fill.
Plimpton, who co-founded the magazine in 1953, was best-known for his
“participatory journalism”.

IRAQ

There has been a surge in violence targeting Iraqi journalists in
the run-up to the 30 January elections, according to the head of the
Iraqi Journalists Syndicate, Shihab al-Tamimi. He told Baghdad
newspaper al-Zaman that several Iraqi journalists had been targets of
kidnapping and assassination. He mentioned Imad Adulamir, a member of
the syndicate’s council, who was kidnapped on 11 January and whose fate
was still unknown.

PAKISTAN

An attack on the Press Club in Lahore saw ten journalists injured,
New Kerala reports. The Shia student group allegedly responsible also
threw firebombs inside the building. The attackers were upset with the
media for giving “inadequate” coverage to the assassination of a Shia
religious leader in Northern Pakistan earlier this month.

Although a police contingent was guarding the club, they allegedly
let the students beat up journalists for half an hour before moving to
rescue them. Although police arrested 40 members of the Imamia Student
Organisation, but no-one was charged.

PHILIPPINES

The Philippines is trying to solve cases involving the killing of
journalists, President Gloria Arroyo has pledged, while describing as
“misleading” claims that the country is one of the world’s most
dangerous places for reporters. A report by the International
Federation of Journalists said the killing of 13 journalists in 2004 –
up from three in 2003 – had created a crisis for the free press. The
Manila Times reported a spokesman as saying the majority of the cases
had been solved by a special task force.

But the claim was denied by Carlos Conde, secretary- general of the
National Union of Journalists of the Philippines. “Solved” meant a
suspect had been identified, not caught or convicted.

HAITI

Police executed a radio journalist and several youngsters during a
raid in a slum stronghold of support for the country’s ousted
president, according to witnesses and a human rights group. Reuters
reported that dozens of heavily- armed policemen raided Village de
Dieu, a Port-au-Prince shantytown believed to be a bastion of gangs
loyal to former President Jean- Bertrand Aristide, who was driven into
exile during an armed revolt last year. Police acknowledged killing
several people during the raid, but described them as bandits killed in
an exchange of gunfire. Journalist Abdias Jean, who may have been
executed because he saw police shoot and kill three youngsters.

CAMEROON

A six months sentence has been imposed on Jules Koum Koum, the
editor of the independent fortnightly Le Jeune Observateur, for alleged
libel in questioning the management of two insurance companies. “Far
from being a crime, reporting that certain companies are not
functioning properly comes under a journalist’s duty to inform the
public,”complained Reporters Sans Frontieres, endorsing a call for a
“day without news”.issued by a Koum support committe.

SOUTH AFRICA

Police are searching for two men who attacked two journalists from an Afrikaans daily paper at Ka-Daantjie.

The pair had been sent to cover a story at a school about a student
who was operated on for the rare disease, elephantiasis. The attackers
demanded their phones, cameras and laptops, said the South African
Broadcasting Corporation.

SRI LANKA

The “oceanic disaster” has inevitably taken its toll on provincial
journalists, especially in eastern and southern provinces, reports the
Daily News. 58 per cent of the 2,121 provincial journalists are from 14
tsunami-affected districts. The houses of 48 were washed out. Nearly
1,000 members of 121 families of provincial journalists are displaced.

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