WASHINGTON, Nov. 9, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Following is a statement from Eileen O’Reilly, president of the National Press Club, and Gil Klein, president of the National Press Club Journalism Institute, on the unprecedented and tragic death toll of journalists and media workers in the current Israel-Hamas war. At least 39 journalists and media workers have been killed in this conflict, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists, making it one of the deadliest war zones for journalists this century.
“We are outraged and appalled by the unprecedented number of journalists and media workers who have been killed covering the current conflict in the Middle East. We call for immediate action by all parties to protect journalists and allow them to do their jobs safely and independently as this conflict continues.”
“These journalists include Mohammad Abu Hasira, a correspondent for the Palestine News and Information Agency, reportedly killed alongside his relatives in an Israeli airstrike. They include Israeli journalists like Yaniv Zohar and Roee Idan, who were reportedly slain by Hamas. They include Mohammad Jarghoun and Mohammad El-Salhi, who were reportedly shot and killed while reporting in the Gaza Strip.
“The work of a free and independent media is essential in wartime to alert civilians to threats to their safety, to provide the global community with reliable reports of conditions on the ground in real time, and to document potential war crimes and atrocities.”
“In addition to the physical threats faced by journalists, we are also deeply troubled by reports that media organizations including Al Jazeera are being targeted for censorship or closure during this conflict.”
“International law is clear that journalists and media professionals are considered civilians in areas of armed conflict, and must be respected and protected as such. Anyone responsible for targeting journalists and media organizations in this conflict, in violation of international law, must be held fully accountable.”
“We call for full and independent investigations into the circumstances of the death of each journalist and media worker who has been tragically killed in this conflict. And we call on all parties to comply with international law by allowing journalists to report safely and independently.”
“In war, just as in peace, journalists cannot be targeted with impunity. The global community of journalists is closely watching the treatment of our colleagues in this conflict. We will not look away.”
Founded in 1908, the National Press Club is the world’s leading professional organization for journalists. The Club has 3,000 members representing nearly every major news organization and is a leading voice for press freedom in the U.S. and worldwide.
The National Press Club Journalism Institute promotes an engaged, global citizenry through an independent and free press and equips journalists with the skills and standards to inform the public in ways that inspire a more representative democracy. The NPCJI is the nonprofit affiliate of the National Press Club.
Contact: Bill McCarren, press freedom consultant for the National Press Club, (202) 662-7534
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SOURCE National Press Club