News of the August 19, 2014, murder of journalist James Foley broke not in the media but instead on Twitter. News organizations faced the agonizing questions of how to report on the killing and what portions of the video to show. If a group or individual commits an act of violence, and then films it, how can traditional news organizations cover it without amplifying the propaganda message?
Near the end of August 2014, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates launched airstrikes against what were characterized as Islamist-allied militias fighting near Tripoli, Libya. Or maybe they didn't. The New York Times broke the story on August 25, 2014; Egypt denied it, the UAE didn't comment, and U.S. officials made seemingly conflicting statements.
The murders of freelancers James Foley and Steven Sotloff last year put the news industry on the spot. What could news executives, press freedom groups, and individual journalists do to improve safety? The issue was not new. International news organizations had been grappling with their responsibility towards freelancers and locally hired media workers for years. Several had begun treating freelancers as they would their own staffers when it came to safety. Freelancers too had joined together under the Frontline Freelance Register to demonstrate that they were professionals and should be treated and compensated as such.
New York, January 22, 2015--The Committee to Protect Journalists is deeply concerned by a video released on Tuesday by the Islamic State militant group in which the group said it would kill Japanese freelance journalist Kenji Goto and another Japanese citizen, Haruna Yukawa, if it did not receive a US$200 million ransom within three days.
Syria is the world’s deadliest country for journalists for the third year in a row. International journalists were killed at a higher rate in 2014 than in recent years. A CPJ special report by Shazdeh Omari
In 2014, at least 60 journalists and 11 media workers were killed in relation to their work, according to CPJ research. Local and international journalists died covering conflicts, including in Syria, Iraq, and Ukraine, while many others were murdered reporting on corruption and organized crime in their own countries.
Here, CPJ remembers some of the journalists who gave their lives to bring us this year's headlines.
Do you believe the free flow of information must be protected? Sign the #RightToReport petition and demand that President Obama immediately:
1. Issue a presidential policy directive prohibiting the hacking and surveillance of journalists and media organizations.
2. Limit aggressive prosecutions that ensnare journalists and intimidate whistleblowers.
3. Prevent the harassment of journalists at the U.S. border.
Or click here to see the full petition, and join leading journalists like Christiane Amanpour, The Guardian’s Alan Rusbridger, Editor of the AP Kathleen Carroll, and Arianna Huffington in signing on.