Saturday, November 20, 2004

Why journalism matters, the International Federation of Journalists

More Than 100 Journalists Killed This Year

BRUSSELS, Belgium - More than 100 journalists have been killed since January, making 2004 the most deadly year for journalists in a decade, an international media rights group said.

The slayings of three journalists in recent days in Ivory Coast, Nicaragua and the Philippines pushed this year's total to 101, the International Federation of Journalists said Friday.

"2004 is turning out to be one of the most bloody years on record," said Aidan White, the federation's general secretary. "The crisis of news safety has reached an intolerable level and must be addressed urgently."

The organization recorded 83 killings of media staff in 2003 and 70 in 2002. The most deadly year for journalists since the organization began compiling annual reports in 1988 was 1994, when 115 were killed, including 48 during the genocide in Rwanda.

This year's latest victim was Gene Boyd R. Lumawag, photo editor for the independent Filipino news agency MindaNews, shot in the head Friday by an unknown gunman while on his way to take a picture of the sunset in the southern town of Jolo.

Fellow flacks, without an independent and credible press our work is meaningless. We have a vested interest in protecting journalists. Let us support the work of organizations that protect journalists.

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