As a result of these kidnappings, a growing number of news organizations no longer feel that it is safe for their reporters and photographers to enter Syria, and many have decided to limit their coverage of the war, unwilling to have their staff members subjected to the increasingly common risk of abduction.The news organizations signing the letter include Agence France-Presse, The Associated Press, Atlantic Media, BBC News, The Economist, Getty Images, The Guardian, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, Reuters, The Telegraph, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post.
We believe it is imperative for the leadership of the armed opposition to commit itself to assuring that journalists can work within Syria, secure from the threat of kidnapping. Among other things, we ask the leadership to assist in identifying those groups currently holding journalists and take the steps necessary to bring about their release.The Atlantic recapped the recent kidnappings:
Just in the last few weeks, we've learned that two Swedish journalists were abducted near the Lebanese border, two Spanish journalists were kidnapped by al Qaeda-affiliated fighters in the northern province of Raqqa, and an Iraqi cameraman was executed by the same jihadi group in the northern province of Idlib.The Committee to Protect Journalists ranks Syria as the most dangerous country for journalists. The organization reports that 53 journalists have been killed in Syria since 1992.
Look at this page on the Committee to Protect Journalists’ website and feel a pain in your gut. The site documents the 45 journalists who have been killed on the job worldwide this year. Most were covering human rights, politics … Read more
C.J. Chivers is full of stories, and most of them aren’t pretty. The veteran war correspondent and former U.S. Marine, who goes by Chris, saw his career catapult into one successive overseas conflict after another just 12 days after 9/11.… Read more
Even with a visa, Pleitgen acknowledged the restrictions on reporting in Damascus. While there isn't a government minder following the CNN crew, he said, the journalists only have permission to film in government-controlled parts of Damascus.
“Filming with the military can be frustrating, so we often have to independently make our way to the front line to get access to Assad's troops," Pleitgen said. "By and large, it is not too bad on the streets of Damascus as many people are willing to talk to us in the center of town. Things get more difficult on the outskirts close to rebel-held territory."