Journalists in danger

February 4, 2009

Said Tahlil Ahmed shot dead in Somalia

Said Tahlil Ahmed, the director of HornAfrik Radio, was shot dead this afternoon by three gunmen near Bakara market in Mogadishu according to the National Union of Somali Journalists. “This is a outrageous and appalling assassination” said Omar Faruk Osman, NUSOJ Secretary General. “Said Tahlil Ahmed was assassinated because of his strong and professional commitment […]

February 4, 2009

IFJ report on media staff killed in 2008

The International Federation of Journalists released its annual report today on the number of media workers killed during 2008. While the numbers fell in 2008, there has been a spate of killings since the beginning of 2009, “The welcome relief brought about by the decline in the killings of journalists in 2008 has been shot […]

February 3, 2009

14 journalists killed in January

The Press Emblem Campaign called for protection of journalists around the world on Monday. The Geneva based watchdog highlighted recent harassment and assassinations in Sri Lanka and the lack of media access to the Gaza Strip, Four journalists were killed in the Gaza Strip, along with two in Russia and another two in Venezuela. In […]

January 29, 2009

Reporting the Mexico border

Angela Kocherga talks to Poynter about the dangers of reporting from Mexico, particularly around the border cities of Juárez where drug crime and killing are rife, How difficult is it for you, as a journalist, to do your job in Mexico? I assume journalists feel constantly threatened as they cover stories about killings and crime. […]

January 27, 2009

Spoiled crybabies

So, all those Foreign correspondents who couldn’t get into Gaza despite the Israeli Supreme court ruling and many, many attempts are nothing but a bunch of “spoiled crybabies”. That’s the word according to Daniel Seaman, director of Israel’s Government Press Office in a statement issued on Sunday, “Israel did not want to endanger the lives […]

January 25, 2009

The most dangerous profession

At least eight prominent journalists have left Sri Lanka since the assassination of Sunday Leader editor Lasantha Wickrematunga on the 8th January, “Journalism has perhaps become the most dangerous profession in this country,” the privately run [Sunday Leader] said in a front-page editorial on Saturday. “It is riskier than even soldiering in that a soldier […]

January 24, 2009

Somalia ransom now $100,000

From $2.5 million to $100,000 – that’s the reduction in the ransom demand for the release of Canadian freelance journalist Amanda Lindhout and Australian photographer Nigel Brennan according to Canwest today. The duo were kidnapped in Somalia in August, 2008, “Now they want $100,000,” [said Dad Abdi Daud, executive director of Mogadishu-based Somali Journalists Rights […]

January 23, 2009

Seven journalists flee Sri Lanka

Following the killing of Sunday Leader editor Lasantha Wickrematunge seven “prominent” Sri Lankan journalists have left the country, according to In addition, another journalist and his wife have been attacked in the district of Gampha, Media reports said an editor of a pro-government Sinhala weekly ‘Rivira’, Upali Tennakoon, and his wife were severely assaulted […]

January 22, 2009

Guns for Russian reporters

Alexander Lebedev, co-owner of Russia’s Novaya Gazeta newspaper, has requested the Federal Security Service (FSB) issue firearms to journalists at the paper. The highly unusual request comes after Anastasia Baburova, a 25 years old journalist with the Gazeta, was murdered earlier this week. The paper previously employed Anna Politkovskaya who was also gunned down in […]

January 16, 2009

Journalist and driver released in Somalia

Abdifatah Mohamed Elmi, who was kidnapped along with Canadian journalist Amanda Lindhout and Australian photographer Nigel Brennan in August 2008, has been released along with, Marwali, the driver, “We have been released and we are free now after 177 days of ordeal, but our two foreign journalists are still hostages” Elmi told Agence France-Press. link […]

January 15, 2009

Reuters bureau hit in Gaza

Reuters journalists in Gaza report that an Israeli missile or shell hit the 13th floor of the Al-Shurouq Tower in Gaza city this morning. A journalist working for an Abu Dhabi television channel on the 14th floor was injured. Reuters evacuated the bureau which is located on the 12th floor, A camera in the office […]

January 13, 2009

And then they came for me

Lasantha Wickrematunge, the editor of the Sri Lanka newspaper The Sunday Leader who was murdered on Sunday, wrote his own farewell letter days before he was murdered. I blogged about his brutal murder on 8 January, but I am posting his final editorial in full here, No other profession calls on its practitioners to lay […]

January 10, 2009

Beverly Giesbrecht ransom deal reported

According to unnamed sources in English-language Pakistani News International, a ransom demand of $150,000 has been made for the release of Canadian journalist Beverly Giesbrecht, also known as Khadija Abdul Qahaar, who was kidnapped in Pakistan in November 2008.

January 10, 2009

Ala Mortaji killed in Gaza as media outlets targetted

Ala Mortaji, a radio journalist in Gaza, has died on Friday from wounds sustained when Israeli tanks fired at his home in Zaitoun district of Gaza City, Mortaji is the third journalist to be killed in the Israeli violence in Gaza, he worked as a radio broadcast personality in Gaza on a local radio show. […]

January 9, 2009

Palestinian camerman Ihab Al-Wahidi killed in Gaza

Ihab Al-Wahidi, a Palestinian journalist based in Gaza, was reportedly killed on Thursday after two tank shells hit his apartment in the Tal Al-Hawa neighborhood south of Gaza City. Wahidi was employed by Palestine TV and has previously worked as Yasser Arrafat’s cameraman. His mother and wife were also killed in the attack.(UPDATE: The IFJ […]

January 8, 2009

Lasantha Wickramatunga shot dead in Colombo

Lasantha Wickramatunga, editor of popular Sri Lankan newspaper The Sunday Leader, has been shot dead as he drove to work in the capital Colombo. The editor, whose newspaper sub header reads “Unbowed And Unafraid”, had often been critical of the government. In his last editorial he said, Winning the war? Then there must be elections […]

January 7, 2009

For the truth to get out, journalists have to get in

Journalists still can’t get into Gaza. The Israeli government have banned media access to the war torn strip. The result for foreign reporters, on the 11th day of this war, is that hundreds of them sit at border points waiting to be granted access by Israeli authorities. The ban flies in the face of a […]

January 5, 2009

Colin Freeman on being free

Colin Freeman talks on the Daily Telegraph today about his kidnap experience in Somalia. He sounds in good spirits as he discusses being a free man again after his six week ordeal. He’s looking forward to a decent pint and trying to give up the smoking habit he picked up in the caves of Somalia, […]

January 5, 2009

Two journalists killed in Pakistan

Two journalists were among seven killed when a suicide bomber blew himself up outside the Government Polytechnic College in Dera Ismail Khan in northern Pakistan yesterday, The suicide bomber struck when police and forensic experts were collecting evidence after cordoning off the area around the teashop. Officials said the head and legs of a man […]

January 4, 2009

Somalia kidnap victims Colin Freeman and José Cendón are free

Colin Freeman, a journalist with the Daily Telegraph (on the right on the picture below), and Jose Cendon, a freelance photographer, were set free today after being kidnapped in Somalia some six weeks ago on November 26, 2008 while reporting on piracy in Bosasso, "The two journalists are free after their ordeals," said the head […]

January 2, 2009

Hassan Mayow killed in Somalia

Hassan Mayow, a Shabelle radio correspondent in Somalia, was shot dead when he was caught in the crossfire between two groups armed with AK-47s in Afgoi some 30km west of Mogadishu on New Year’s Day, “Hassan was one of the nimble correspondents of Shabelle radio and was very sincere for his task of Journalism, we […]

December 30, 2008

Press Freedom report 2008

Reporters sans frontières release the 2008 Press Freedom report today. While the figures are depressing they are better than 2007, “The figures may be lower than last year’s but this should not mask the fact that intimidation and censorship have become more widespread, including in the west, and the most authoritarian governments have been taking […]

December 29, 2008

Hamza Shahin killed in Gaza

Hamza Shahin, a photographer with the Shihab Media Agency in the Gaza Strip, has died of injuries he suffered some two weeks ago when Israeli tanks attacked in the northern part of the Gaza Strip. The International Federation of Journalists has condemned the killing, “Israel’s ongoing attacks on Gaza present a serious risk to security […]

December 22, 2008

Peter ter Velde talks to the Taliban

Dutch journalist Peter ter Velde talked to Taliban fighters in the northern Uruzgan province of Afghanistan where “several hundred” Dutch soldiers are based, Peter ter Velde, a reporter of NOS public television, met the fighters close to Camp Holland, NATO’s main military base in Uruzgan. He spoke to the six Taliban just before a roadside […]

December 18, 2008

Iraq still the deadliest place to work

That’s the conclusion of the Committee to Protect Journalists. For the sixth straight year, Iraq has recorded the highest number of deaths among journalists and media workers of anywhere in the world, The 11 deaths recorded in Iraq in 2008, while a sharp drop from prior years, remained among the highest annual tolls in CPJ […]

December 18, 2008

Ebenezer Viwami under arrest in Ivory Coast

Ebenezer Viwami, editor in chief of Alerte Info, was picked up outside a prison in Abidjan, Ivory Coast at the weekend. The Ivorian Internal Affairs and Justice Ministries, said Viwami falsified the reporting of a prison riot stating that three prisoners were shot dead when the official report said six prisoners were slightly injured prisoners […]

December 9, 2008

U.S. refuse to release Reuters photographer

The U.S. military in Baghdad have refused to comply with an Iraqi Central Criminal Court ruling to free Ibrahim Jassam Mohammed, a Reuters freelance photographer. Mohammed has been held by U.S. forces since early September, 2008. On November 30, the Iraqi court said there was no evidence against him, “Though we appreciate the decision of […]

December 5, 2008

Micahel J. Kavanagh and Taylor Krauss reporting from Congo

Michael J. Kavanagh, from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, reports from a refugee camp in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo with footage from cameraman Taylor Krauss. Earlier today we blogged how the two got caught up with the secret police in the DRC. You can read the full story on the World Focus website, […]

December 5, 2008

Somali journalist injured in Mogadishu

Rasmi Mohamud Mohamed, a journalist with Somaliweyn local radio, was injured in an exchange of gunfire at a checkpoint in the Somali capital Mogadishu yesterday. According to a report by Abdi Guled at Mareeg the bullets struck Rasmi’s left shoulder, Speaking to Mareeg online Rasmi has told that she was in 50-50 condition according to […]

December 5, 2008

Detained by Congo secret police

Cameraman Taylor Krauss was held by secret police in the Democratic Republic of Congo earlier this week. He talks about the experience on the World Focus site, I knew a padded handshake could solve things in a country where [former president] Mobutu used to tell his citizens to “fend for themselves.” But I also knew […]