The Media: A Victim of Neo-Colonialism
The World Press Freedom Day was marked by speeches and reports which maintain the status quo and, on substance, generally ignore the causes of the real dangers faced by journalists. Journalists have been arrested, imprisoned, attacked and assassinated. They have become a constant, albeit undeclared, target in battles, wars and political conflicts. Despite the blackout imposed on this harsh reality, and the vague language used as a cover for killing and persecution, small countries are usually pinpointed when mentioning the persecution of journalism, while big countries, particularly militarily dominant ones, are not mentioned.
But one can conclude that the war on Iraq and the situation in Palestine have pushed up the indicator of deliberate targeting of journalists in an unprecedented way. China Today published a report which said that “In a 14 month period, during occupation, more reporters were killed in Iraq than during the entire Vietnam War and most of them are independents”. On April 8, 2003, American intelligence services killed Al-Jazeera journalist Tariq Ayoub who had just arrived in Iraq from Jordan. On the same day, American troops shelled the Palestine Hotel which was accommodating over a hundred journalists. It was known to all that the hotel was a hub for foreign journalists and reporters. In that incident, Jose Cuso, the cameraman for the Spanish television and Tautus Prodzuk, a veteran Reuters cameraman, were killed. It was very clear that tens of reporters and cameramen were killed in Iraq in an unprecedented escalation against war correspondents and photographers who refused to be false witnesses to the American army and to publish only its stories and the photographs and footage given to them by commanders of American military units.
In Pakistan, a large number of journalists are being killed, according to Owais Aslam Ali, Secretary-General of the Pakistan Press Foundation in a speech he delivered at the “Immunity Summit: Solidarity against the Killing of Journalists”. Speakers at the summit said that more than 88 journalists have been killed during the last ten years in Iraq.
In occupied Palestine, Israel continues to assassinate tens of Arab and foreign journalists, particularly those who went there to document Israeli crimes against the people and children of Palestine. Probably the most famous among them was British journalist James Miller, who was making a documentary about Israel’s crimes against children.