From conflict-ridden Syria to aspiring world leader Brazil, 10 nations on a downslope. By Karen Phillips
Forces on all sides of the Syrian conflict that have tried to censor news coverage through violence have won a round. By sharply increasing the risk for reporters covering the civil war they have forced news organizations to think twice before sending their staff to the battlefields. In a worrying development they even have led a leading UK newspaper, the Sunday Times, for which Marie Colvin was on assignment when she was killed last year in Homs, to refuse photographs submitted by freelancers.
A small number of journalists reporting from Syria have recently interviewed prisoners of war under highly coercive circumstances. In doing so, they have ignored the protections that are due to prisoners under international humanitarian law, or IHL.
When the story is so important but the risks are so high, journalists must keep safety at the forefront of their thinking. That's especially true for freelancers who often do not have the support of a large news organization. Preparation, peer networking, and smart planning can help improve the odds of not only surviving hostile situations but succeeding in one's work.
What is the humanitarian function of journalism in wartime? How does international humanitarian law protect journalists? Why is impunity the most important challenge facing journalists working in conflict zones?
New York, January 18, 2013--An Al-Jazeera reporter was killed by a sniper in the city of Daraa today, the station reported, the second journalist fatality in Syria in as many days.
New York, January 18, 2013--An international journalist was killed by a sniper while covering fighting in Aleppo in Syria on Thursday, according to local and international press reports. The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on all sides of the conflict to stop targeting journalists and allow them to report freely within the country.
Debay, a Belgian-born French journalist, was based in Aleppo, where he covered clashes between the Syrian army and opposition forces in the city for his online newsmagazine Assaut (Assault), according to news reports. A veteran military correspondent, he contributed reports for the French military magazine Raid, and had written several books about military conflicts.
New York, January 2, 2013--The family of U.S. freelance journalist James Foley today publicized the reporter's abduction in Syria on November 22. The family, which had previously asked that the kidnapping not be disclosed, launched a public campaign to seek his release.
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