AP's Carroll: 'An attack on a journalist is a proxy for an attack on the people'

Associated Press

Kathleen Carroll, senior vice president and executive editor of the Associated Press, briefed the United Nations Security Council on the protection of journalists today.

She explained that the AP’s headquarters in New York has a Wall of Honor displaying biographies and photographs of 31 AP journalists who have died on the job.

So why should the world’s leaders care about threats against journalists?

Many officials the world over complain that journalists are headstrong and nosy. They ask questions, they write stories and take pictures that don’t always sit well with the powerful people they cover. They aim their cameras at things some people don’t want the world to see.

Yet journalists represent the ordinary citizen … they ask questions on behalf of those people. They go to places the people cannot and bear witness. An attack on a journalist is a proxy for an attack on the people, an attack on their right to information about their communities and their institutions.

Thirty-one journalists on the Wall of Honor, she said, is enough.

The Committee to Protect Journalists says 28 journalists have been killed so far this year -- 13 of them in Syria. Journalist Austin Tice has been missing in Syria since last August, and James Foley has been missing there since November. Last month, senators urged the State Department to ramp up its efforts to find Tice and Foley.

  • Mallary Jean Tenore

    As managing editor of The Poynter Institute’s website, Poynter.org, I report on the media news industry, edit the site’s How To section, and moderate the site's live chats. I also help handle the site's social media efforts, and teach social media sessions on the side.


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