Front line reporting

Looking ahead to this years Media Awards as a celebration of Human Rights reporting there have been a few reminders in the news of the dangers faced by journalists as they cover stories in volatile regions. We need only cast our minds back to last year and the collective sigh of relief when news broke of BBC Gaza correspondent Alan Johnstons release after being held hostage for 114 days. But today as the violence in Gaza escalates the Guardian reports on the tragic case of a Reuters cameraman killed in the fighting when he was hit by metal darts -known as flechettes- from a shell fired by an Israeli tank. This highlights just how perilous it is for journalists reporting form war zones who often run the risk of being caught up in the conflict.

The Independent reports on the case of British CBS photojournalist Richard Butler who has been who was found after being held for two months following his kidnap in Basra, and the Times has a story on the release of its own Africa correspondent Jonathan Clayton after his imprisonment and alleged mistreatment by Zimbabwean security services. He was arrested on immigration charges and eventually acquitted. The attitude of the Zimbabwean government towards international media has been particularly hostile in the run up to and following the countrys contentious elections, with the arrest of a New York Times correspondent and a journalist from the Sunday Telegraph; both accused of covering the elections illegally. A selective media ban has also been imposed disallowing certain outlets entry into the country; others are under strict guidelines including state media.

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Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.
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