In prisons around the world, 145 journalists sit behind bars, incarcerated for trying to practice their craft. Just yesterday, al-Jazeera announced that one of its reporters, Dorothy Parvaz, was missing in Syria.
This year, The Post had four employees detained in Egypt. The New York Times had four employees arrested in Libya.
At the Newseum in Washington, D.C., 16 new names will be added to the Journalists Memorial Wall: Tim Hetherington, Chris Hondros, Karim Fakhrawi, Zakariya Rashid Hassan al-Ashiri, Sabah al-Bazi, Muammar Khadir Abdelwahad, Luis Emanuel Ruiz Carrillo, Mohammed al-Nabbous, Jamal al-Sharaabi, Ali Hassan al-Jaber, Mohamed al-Hamdani, Ahmad Mohamed Mahmoud, Le Hoang Hung, Gerardo Ortega, Lucas Mebrouk Dolega and Wali Khan Babar.
May 3 marks World Press Freedom Day. As clampdowns and censorship take place around the world, it is a good time to remember what journalism means and the people dedicated to doing the job.
The Post’s Raju Narisetti wrote about the Journalists Memorial in October 2010:
“Facing you are Images of the Fallen, a wall of postcard-size photographs — smiling, earnest, serious — of some of the 1,900 journalists who died on the job since 1837. Walk up closer and you will read that 30 died on one day — Nov. 23, 2009 — in a massacre on Mindanao Island in the Philippines.
“Look to your left and, as shafts of light stream down from the windows, crane your neck to read the names etched on glass panes that curve and reach into the skies. If they are hard to read, don't give up. These are men and women who have given all they could so that some of us can count on a free press in a free society.
“Pick a name, walk over to the touch screens, pull up the profile and read it. Or pick a year. For 1966, the year I was born, there is just one name: Neil K. Hulbert, a photographer for the Humboldt Standard of Eureka, Calif. Hulbert died in a plane crash on Mount Fuji on his way to Vietnam for an assignment.
“Unlike many hushed, dimly lit sections of the Newseum, the Journalists Memorial is full of light. As it should be.
“And as you walk out of the Newseum into a world riddled with talk of blogs, search engines, Twitter and social media, hold onto some of those faces and names. It is a fitting reminder that even in a news business where the past is no longer the prologue, what will always endure is the willingness of journalists to risk their lives in the pursuit of news.”
Watch the conversation that took place earlier Tuesday about the state of journalism at the National Press Club: