News / Middle East

UN Spearheads Drive to Protect Journalists After Deadly 2012

UN Spearheads Drive to Protect Journalistsi
X
January 08, 2013 8:25 PM
2012 was the deadliest year on record for journalists, with over 100 killed in their line of work. The United Nations announces a plan to improve safety for journalists around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Henry Ridgwell
2012 was the deadliest year on record for journalists, with over 100 killed in their line of work.  The United Nations is spearheading a new drive to improve safety for journalists around the world.  

When shells fell on the Syrian city of Homs in February 2012, a building used by foreign media took a direct hit - killing renowned Sunday Times correspondent Marie Colvin, along with French journalist Remi Ochlik.  Photographer Paul Conroy was injured. 

The incident was among the most high profile of 2012.  But there were many more fatal attacks on members of the media.  Many of them were specifically targeted for their reporting.

“You have not only this consistent rise in the number of killings of journalists to stop them reporting about crime, corruption and abuse of power, but in the last couple of years, especially in north Africa, from Somalia to Syria, you’ve got war again," said
William Horsley, who is from the Centre for Freedom of the Media at the University of Sheffield.

Indian journalists walk with their two wheelers at the funeral procession of fellow journalist Bwizamani Singh in Imphal, India, Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2012.Indian journalists walk with their two wheelers at the funeral procession of fellow journalist Bwizamani Singh in Imphal, India, Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2012.
x
Indian journalists walk with their two wheelers at the funeral procession of fellow journalist Bwizamani Singh in Imphal, India, Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2012.
Indian journalists walk with their two wheelers at the funeral procession of fellow journalist Bwizamani Singh in Imphal, India, Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2012.
Exact figures vary, but the U.N. says over 100 journalists were killed doing their job in 2012.  Late last year at a conference in Vienna, the United Nations launched its Action Plan on the Safety of Journalists and Combating Impunity.   

“What is needed is the public and the press to make the world’s populations understand the link between the killing of journalists and the undermining of the rule of law and stability in whole societies," said Horsley.

At an October symposium at the BBC College of Journalism, members of the world’s media gathered to discuss attacks on journalists.

Nearly 20 Somali journalists were killed in 2012 alone.  And Omar Faruk Osman of the Somali National Union of Journalists says some of the murders have been brutal.

“Not only journalists are killed in Somalia by bullets, they are also killed by beheading.  In our lives we have never seen journalists beheaded," said Osman.  

Pakistani media are also under threat for their coverage of schoolgirl activist Malala Yousafzai -- now discharged from a British hospital after being shot in the head by the Taliban. 

“The Taliban have announced open war against Pakistani media because we are supporting the little girl Malala Yousafzai," said Hamid Mir of Geo TV in Pakistan.

Bob Tyrer, associate editor of the Sunday Times of London, wants much tougher legal protection for the media.

“I think that the killing of journalists should be a crime against humanity," he said.

American freelance reporter James Foley has not been seen since he was kidnapped by unidentified gunmen in Syria in November.  It is another reminder of the dangers of the job - dangers that appear to be getting worse.

You May Like

Lion Cecil's Killing Sparks 'Canned Hunting' Debate in S. Africa

Conservationists believe incident, which triggered worldwide outrage, will reshape debate about practice in which hunters are allowed to target animals bred for hunting More

Taliban's New Leader Says Jihad Will Continue

Top US Afghan diplomat also meets with Pakistani, Afghan officials following news of Mullah Omar's death More

Environmentalists Issue Warning on Mekong Biodiversity

Scientists say decades of economic development, hydropower-dam construction, lax law enforcement and trafficking have taken their toll More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missionsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
July 30, 2015 8:59 PM
Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.

VOA Blogs