Thursday, 8 March 2007

Shooting the messenger

There is counter on the International News Safety Institute website. Three days ago it rested at 20. On the 31 December 2006 the count had reached 138.

This is the number of journalists killed in war zones every year.

296 is the sum of deaths since January 2005, just over two years ago. I recently came across the obituary for Terry Lloyd one of ITN's most experienced correspondents who was killed after 20 years in Iraq on March 22 2003. When reading this I felt some deja vu for the response I had to the death of Steve Irwin, the crocodile hunter. Surely we shouldn't be shocked if a person who has spent years playing Russian roulette gets a fatal hit.

Lloyd's death was described as tragic "one can be certain that he would not have entered into a foolhardy enterprise". He was killed in "friendly fire", shot under the guise of an oxymoronic phrase that has always been lost on me, by our own troops whose whole purpose is to restore peace to a nation. I am unable to define such a thing as an act of "foolhardy enterprise" when Lloyd's job description dictates danger.

The first ever comprehensive journalist safety survey says: "Two journalists killed every week over last 10 years".

News Safety Institute

World record deaths

Yesterday there was an article in the Financial Times entitled "Killing of journalists escalate to world record levels". The FT website charges a subcription so I will post the article tomorrow when I am able to scan it.

EDITED 13/03: What is said in this piece is covered by other posts, I am still trying to figure out how to post the map. Bare with me!