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Media Under Fire

  • January 1st, 2011
  • Posted by EUEditor

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Wholesale attacks on news media – that relatively new phenomenon of violent times – continued apace through 2010.

The International Federation of Journalists has demanded better efforts by governments to arrest the impunity of attacks on civilians including journalists, and bring perpetrators to justice.

ifj.jpgIt has issued the following statement from its headquarters in Brussels:

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today (31.12.10) warned that journalists and media personnel remain prime targets for political extremists, gangsters and terrorists as it announced that at least 94 journalists and media personnel who were killed in 2010, victims of targeted killings, bomb attacks and crossfire incidents. Three other journalists lost their lives in accidents this year.

The IFJ list was issued just two days after police in Sweden and Denmark revealed they had foiled a potentially deadly bomb plot against Jyllens Posten, the Danish newspaper that in 2005 set off protests around the world when it published cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammed.

Elsewhere the IFJ list puts Pakistan top of the list of the most dangerous zones for journalists in 2010, ahead of Mexico, Honduras and Iraq.

“Nearly 100 journalists killed is a heavy loss which ought to stir the world governments into action to offer better protection to journalists,” said Jim Boumelha, IFJ President.

“The sheer number of murders and conflict related incidents which claimed the lives of journalists and media personnel around the globe this year has brought into sharp focus the high risks associated with the practice journalism today.”

The IFJ list of work related media killings is coordinated with the International News Safety Institute (INSI) and contains 94 journalists and media personnel who died during 2010, down from the 139 killings recorded in 2009. There were also three accidental deaths of journalists.

The IFJ says the majority were victims of violence connected to the insurgency war in Pakistan, the drug war in Mexico as well as the political unrest in Honduras. In these countries and others such as Somalia, The Philippines and Iraq, the rule of men of violence and the failure of governments to protect journalists are creating a climate of siege and despair.

aidan-white.jpg“The threats to journalists are everywhere and once again the shadow of impunity falls across the world of journalism,” said Aidan White (picture) IFJ General Secretary.

“Governments must act now to hunt down the killers and make journalism safe, not just for the people who work in the industry but for democracy itself.”

Reference
IFJ, Brussels, “IFJ Reports Heavy Media Loss to Violence after 97 Journalists Died in 2010”, 1.12.10.

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