Journalists’ Safety is Top Priority
Look out! They’re actually shooting at journalists! In war zones, of all places! And Chris Cramer of CNN says most of them were deliberately targeted—for “seeking out the truth:” Journalists’ safety is top priority. (Hat tip: Steven Den Beste.)
Chris Cramer of the US network CNN is honorary president of the International News Safety Institute (Insi).
He told hundreds of TV executives and journalists at News Xchange: “The death toll is three times higher than that of international humanitarian workers… This has been arguably the most terrible year for our profession - after I sat here and told you last year it had been the most terrible year.”
By some counts, more than 1,200 journalists and media workers have been killed in the past 10 years, more than two thirds dying in their own countries.
“Most were deliberately targeted for seeking out the truth. And in more than 94% of those cases, no one has been brought to trial,” Chris Cramer recalled.
(Anyone else think Cramer pulled that “94%” figure out of thin air?)
The problem is that damned military, always getting in the way and misunderstanding the journalists’ important work:
Insi, based in Brussels and founded just a year ago, is a non-governmental organisation that brings together news providers, journalist support groups and humanitarian bodies with the common goal of promoting the safety of media around the world.
It is involved in talks on journalists’ safety with the British Ministry of Defence, Nato and the Israeli army, as well as Reuters-sponsored talks with the Pentagon.
The media and the military “are separated by a large and at times fatal gulf of mutual misunderstanding”, said Insi Director Rodney Pinder.
And I know it’s hard to believe, but sometimes those terrorists and murderers on the other side are just as bad as the British or US military:
Other speakers at News Xchange noted that journalists and their assistants were equally under threat from armed groups and criminals.
In Iraq, one group had posted this threat on the internet against media they regarded as not being neutral enough:
“We swear to God that we will hunt all the workers in these news agencies and slaughter them like sheep if they stand beside the Americans and do not broadcast the truth about the number of soldiers killed in Iraq.”