Journalists being kidnapped, killed to suppress truth: Study
London, July 11 (IANS) Physical violence is not the only method being used to stop truth being published. Kidnappings, murders, financial pressures and defamation legislations are common now to suppress journalists from revealing truth to the masses, a significant study has revealed.
“In many countries around the world, journalists have lost their status as observers and now come under direct attack,” said Rachael Jolley, editor of the report titled “Danger in Truth: Truth in Danger.”
There’s an increasing trend to label journalists as “extremists” or “terrorists” so governments can crack down on reporting they don’t like, said the rpeort that appeared in the Index on Censorship magazine.
According to Index’s Mapping Media Freedom project, which tracks attacks on journalists in more than 40 countries, 35 incidents were reported where journalists were being linked to “extremism” to restrict reporting, 11 in Russia and others in Belgium, Hungary, France and Spain.
Veteran journalists say certain countries, including Syria, are becoming almost impossible to cover.
Citizen journalists in Syria say they are under enormous pressure to stop reporting but feel a responsibility to carry on despite the risks, particularly since so few international journalists are left in Syria.
“All we can do is persevere, coping with the fear and the risks,” one journalist told Index.
“In Iraq, providing safety training is not only necessary, it’s a duty for international originations who care about journalists and activists in dangerous zones,” said Laura Silvia Battaglia who trains journalists in Iraq.
“Local journalism is vital if the Iraqi people are to know what is happening in their country, and to do that journalists need to continue to protect themselves,” Battaglia added.
The special report is part of the 250th issue from global quarterly magazine Index on Censorship which explores the increasing threats journalists are facing globally.