Slain journalists honored as dangers to press highlighted


Washington (AFP)

Fourteen journalists killed in the line of duty in 2016 were honored Monday at a Washington museum ceremony highlighting growing dangers to freedom of information around the world.

The Newseum, which promotes freedom of the press, added the 14 names to its memorial wall, while noting these individuals were "representative" of an estimated 48 killed while reporting the news last year.

"Journalists last year faced unprecedented dangers as they strove to report the news, often in countries where press freedom is imperiled or nonexistent," said Gene Policinski, chief operating officer of the Newseum Institute.

"The journalists recognized on this memorial laid down their lives in their effort to serve the public, many of them continuing to work after being attacked or facing death threats."

Among those honored were National Public Radio photographer David Gilkey and his translator Zabihullah Tamanna, killed exactly one year ago in a roadside attack in Afghanistan.

NPR editorial director Michael Oreskes, who spoke at the ceremony, said the two were killed "while doing the most basic things journalists can do."

Oreskes said the deaths of the reporters belie the notion of what some analysts call a "post-truth era" for the media.

"We don't live in a post-truth era," he said.

"We live in an era where powerful organizations and governments know just how much the truth still matters, and they are willing to kill journalists or jail them or bully them or threaten them to keep the truth from being told."

The other journalists honored included Joao Miranda do Carmo of Brazil's SAD Sem Censura; Karun Misra of India's Jansandesh Times; Hassan al-Anbaki and Saif Talal of Iraq's Al-Sharqiya; Dutch freelance photographer Jeroen Oerlemans, killed in Libya; Marcos Hernandez Bautista of Mexico's Noticias Voz e Imagen de Oaxaca; Sagal Salad Osman of Radio Mogadishu in Somalia; Pavel Sheremet of Ukraine's Ukrainska Pravda and Radio Vesti; and four journalists killed in Syria: Mustafa Abdul Hassa of Shaam News Network, Mohammed Marwan al-Issa of Al-Nateq News Network, Samer Mohammed Aboud of Free Deir al-Zour Radio, and Sami Jawdat Rabah of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.