Turkish journalist, Can Dündar IMAGE-GIFT NDOLWANE
DURBAN, (CAJ News) – AT least 115 journalists were killed round the world in 2016 as persistent attacks against reporters and media owners threaten press freedom and the growth of independent media across the world.
The figures have been disclosed in Durban, South Africa at the 69th World News Media Congress and 24th World Editors Forum.
Mexico and Turkey have emerged among the worst violators.
Since 2000, at least 125 journalists have been killed in Mexico.
A political crackdown by the government of Turkey has led to imprisonment of more than 120 journalists, many of them from news operations subsequently shut down by the government.
It was befitting veteran Turkish journalist, Can Dündar, was awarded the Golden Pen award for outstanding work in upholding the values of a free press along with his unwavering support for Turkish colleagues, some 150 of whom are currently in jail.
“Journalists need courage because there is a cloud of fear hanging over them – fear is everywhere, and it is so powerful,” said Dündar in his acceptance speech, delivered in front of over 700 publishers, CEOs and editors in chief from the global news industry.
Dave Callaway, World Editors Forum President, condemned the violations.
“As a leading member of the global freedom of expression movement, the voice of WAN-IFRA (World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers) has been a constant, denouncing the attacks, the jailings, the closures and the lack of guarantees for journalists to carry out their profession unhindered,” said Callaway.