Friday, June 20, 2008

New monument honours slain journalists

A new monument in London pays tribute to the hundreds of journalists killed in the course of their jobs.

According to Democracy Now!, the daily TV/radio news programme, which airs on over 700 stations, mainly in the US, an estimated two war journalists have died every week over the past ten years. The latest victim is Iraqi journalist Muhieddin Abdul-Hamid. He was killed Tuesday in a drive-by shooting soon after he left his home in Mosul.

According to Amy Goodman of Democracy Now!, the 32-foot-high glass sculpture atop the BBC broadcasting house in London was unveiled by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday, following the recent deaths of the two BBC journalists, Abdul Samad Rohani and Nasteh Dahir Faraah, in Afghanistan and Somalia. The memorial, which will shine a light into the sky every night, is dedicated not only to journalists, but also to those working with them, including translators and drivers.

Rodney Pinder, director of the International News Safety Institute, told Democracy Now!: "This kilometre-high beam of light will shine every night in the center of one of the biggest cities in the world. So it brings attention to thousands, and over the years, if not millions, of people who will see this light and will ask what it’s about. So it brings attention to an issue that has been so widely ignored or not known about for so many years. The numbers of news media professionals, journalists and their support staff who are killed trying to do their job of shining light in the dark recesses of society, not just in wars, but in peacetime, often in their own countries. This has not been known, and the numbers have been rising year after year since the millennium. So this focuses international attention on what is a grave blight in all our democratic societies."

Read the rest of the interview broadcast at

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