It’s dangerous being a reporter — International press group
Jose Katigbak (The Philippine Star) - May 5, 2018 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON – The recent killing of Filipino broadcast journalist Edmund Sestoso is a stark reminder of the dangers of being a reporter, the group Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said on Thursday, World Press Freedom Day.

The group stressed that all governments should guarantee the safety of journalists, noting the public’s right to be informed by a free and independent media.

It added that it was appalled to learn that Sestoso died of injuries after being shot several times by a motorcycle-riding gunman in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental on May 1, the Philippines’ Labor Day.

Long regarded as one of the world’s most dangerous countries for journalists, the Philippines has fallen six places in RSF’s 2018 World Press Freedom Index and is now ranked 133rd among 180 countries.

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) said there can be no press freedom when journalists live and work in fear in the face of serious attacks against them.

It added that its proposed International Convention on the Safety and Independence of Journalists and Other Media Professionals offers a way forward.

The event would tackle the obligation to protect journalists against attacks on their life, kidnappings, arbitrary arrest, violence and intimidation campaigns.

It would also intensify international scrutiny over attacks against journalists, assist national authorities in understanding their international obligations and bring perpetrators to justice.

“We cannot celebrate World Press Freedom Day without calling on world governments to take their responsibility to guarantee the safety of our colleagues,” said Philippe Leruth, IFJ president.

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