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Editorial: Reporters have a duty
by The Ovi Team
2006-10-09 10:33:28
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Pay attention to what you are going about to read: On October 7th 2006 three reporters were killed - two in Afghanistan and one in Russia. On the very same day at a memorial in Bayeux, northern France, the reporting world was paying its respects to all the journalists that were killed during WWII.

A male and a female journalist from Deutsche Welle were shot while they slept inside their tent only a few kilometers north of Kabul. Anna Politkovskaya, a reporter with the independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta, known for her Chechnya reports and her criticism of President Vladimir Putin, was shot by a gunman in the lift of her apartment building in central Moscow.

53 is the number of journalists killed since the beginning of this year in the line of duty because 'duty' is the only word. Soldiers are professionals, militants are professionals, killers are professionals and reporters have a duty. Let’s get it alphabetically: Angola, Brazil, China, Colombia, Congo, Ecuador, Guatemala, India, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Mexico, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Turkmenistan and Venezuela.

I can continue; 17 media assistants killed, 131 journalists imprisoned, three media assistants imprisoned, 59 cyber-dissidents and bloggers imprisoned. Why? The answer is because they believed in their duty to tell the truth and inform the public.

How many more lives are in danger and under threat day after day because of the same reason? Anna Politkovskaya is a martyr on the temple of journalism. The woman exposed the truth and the state didn’t like it. Anna Politkovskaya is dead! I didn’t know her, I had just read one of her reports translated in English, but I know that she’s dead. And she’s dead because somebody didn’t like her truths. She didn’t like the truth that she was served and she wanted to find out what really was going on. And she did! Regimes are ruthless.

Including Anna Politkovskaya and the two German journalists, the number of dead reporters around the world has now increased to 56. I was going to write ‘let's hope these are the last’ but…unfortunately, year after year, the number increases because there are dedicated professionals who will chase the truth and continue to do their duty. We salute you.

Click here to learn more about Reporters Without Borders

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