Media watchdog to boost journalists’ safety

April 25, 2011

The Doha Centre for Media Freedom (DCMF) has said it would step up a campaign to promote the safety of journalists, photographers and cameramen who are covering Arab conflicts.

The move is to honour the memory of journalists who were targeted as they covered armed battles, Qatari daily The Peninsula reported.

The centre said it was shocked and saddened by the deaths of American/British photojournalist Tim Hetherington, 40, and American photographer Chris Hondros, 41.

Both died on Wednesday while covering the conflict in the besieged western Libyan city of Misrata.

Hetherington and Hondros were among a group of journalists pulling back from the front line, during a lull in the hostilities, when they suffered their injuries. Hetherington was killed by a rocket-propelled grenade.

Two other journalists, Briton Guy Martin and New York-based photographer Michael Christopher Brown, were injured.

Hetherington, who had captured tragedies in Liberia, Sudan, Afghanistan and other countries, was awarded the World Press Photo Prize in 2007. His documentaryRestrepo won the Grand Jury Prize for best documentary at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival.

Hondros covered the armed conflicts in the Balkans, the Middle East, Angola, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan, and Liberia.

Four journalists have been killed in the Libya war. Qatari Ali Hassan Al Jaber, a cameraman working for Al Jazeera, died in an ambush on March 12, while Libyan journalist and blogger Mohammad Al Nabous was killed by a sniper in Benghazi on March 19.

The Doha Centre for Media Freedom was set up in October 2008 by the Qatar Foundation. It is chaired by Jan Keulen, 61, from the Dutch NGO Free Voice.



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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