Archive for February, 2013

Targeting Journalism

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“In many parts of the world, journalism is a profession under murderous assault. Nowhere has this been more true than in the Middle East in recent years.

Figures compiled by the Committee to Protect Journalists show an increase in the deaths of reporters covering the region, with 30 journalists killed in 2012 in Syria alone.

The period between 1992 and 2012 saw the killings of 438 journalists in the Middle East and North Africa.

Iraq was the deadliest assignment. Many journalists were kidnapped, and have never been heard from again. Others were lucky to have escaped with their lives.

“Killing journalists is a war crime and a crime against humanity,” says Bouttaher Boujalal, from the Arab Centre for International Humanitarian Law.

“The aim is to hide the truth by eliminating the witness. It’s worse than a war crime.”

Journalists working in the region have had to work in an increasingly dangerous and hostile environment characterised by state despotism, foreign invasion, war, occupation, and revolution.

It is an environment in which censorship, intimidation, abduction, and violence have been major obstacles to freedom of reporting and freedom of expression.

“Journalists don’t report the minor violations, things like information blockades and annoying phone calls …. These violations are difficult to prove. There are no major organisations that track these issues in the Arab world,” says Nidal Mansour from the Centre for Defending the Freedom of Journalists.

Boujalal says that many of those behind the killing, abduction and torture of journalists have not been punished.

“The Arab world has no laws that protect journalists. Even the Arab League and the Organisation of the Islamic Conference don’t have any agreements that protect journalists,” he says.

Targeting Journalism shows the challenges faced by Arab journalists today and highlights cases of reporters who have disappeared or been killed in Egypt, Iraq, Yemen and the occupied Palestinian territories.” – Al Jazeera World

Follow the link below for “Targeting Journalism”, a piece by filmmaker Bashar Hamdan about the dangers that journalists face.


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Amnesty International says at least 14 Sri Lankan media employees have been killed since beginning of 2006 [Reuters]


“Unidentified assailants have shot and seriously wounded a journalist for an independent newspaper near Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo, his colleagues and police say.

Faraz Shaukarally, a journalist of the Sunday Leader, was the latest victim of a string of attacks on journalists and media workers in this Indian ocean island.”

For the full article, see the link below:


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A journalist dodges gunfire in the Syrian city of Aleppo. (AFP/Tauseef Mustafa)

“The number of journalists killed in the line of duty rose sharply in 2012, as the war in Syria, a record number of shootings in Somalia, continued violence in Pakistan, and a worrying increase in Brazilian murders contributed to a 42 percent increase in deaths from the previous year. Internet journalists were hit harder than ever, while the proportion of freelancers was again higher than the historical average, the Committee to Protect Journalists found in its yearly analysis.” – CPJ

Find the full article from the Committee to Protect Journalists here:


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Check out the link below for the results of a survey of Mexican journalists and bloggers prepared by Jorge Luis Sierra:

“A new survey of 102 journalists and bloggers in 20 Mexican states shows nearly 70 percent have been threatened or have suffered attacks because of their work. In addition, 96 percent say they know of colleagues who have been attacked. Respondents to the survey also say they view cyber-espionage and email-account cracking as the most serious digital risks they face. And while nearly all have access to and rely on the Internet, social networks, mobile phones and blogging platforms for their work, they also admit that they have little or no command of digital security tools such as encryption, use of virtual private networks (VPNs), anonymous Internet navigation and secure file removal. The results of this survey show the urgent need to introduce Mexican journalists and bloggers to new technologies and protocols and help newsrooms develop a culture of digital-security awareness to counter increasingly sophisticated threats and attacks from both governmental agencies and criminal organizations.”


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Check out the Alexia Foundation at: http://www.alexiafoundation.org

“The Alexia Foundation promotes the power of photojournalism to give voice to social injustice, to respect history lest we forget it and to understand cultural difference as our strength – not our weakness.

Through grants, scholarships and special projects, The Alexia Foundation supports photographers as agents for change.”


<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/51710691″>Alexia Foundation</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/thealexiafoundation”>The Alexia Foundation</a> on <a href=”http://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

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