|Journalists at work in Africa|
A total of 15 journalists have been killed in Africa since the beginning of the year 2012, of which eight died in Somalia, an official of African Union (AU) said last week in Addis Ababa This was released at the Pan-African Conference on Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity the African Union Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Organized by the Federation of African Journalists (FAJ) in collaboration with the AU, the two- day conference has attracted journalists, leaders, trade union representatives, press freedom and human right activists as well as AU and UN officials among others.
The objective of the conference is to devise a common strategy on the safety of journalists and the fight against impunity, said the AU.
The role of media in peace, development and democratization on African continent is very crucial, noted John Shinkaye, Representative of Jean Ping, the outgoing Chairperson of AU Commission.
While Africa has an increasing change in the media and freedom of expression as promises and progresses in many countries, journalists and media workers continue to be subject of most dangerous and violent attacks including killings, said Shinkaye.
According to Shinkaye, the number of journalists killed in Africa in the line of their duty, deliberately, in crossfire, and combat related circumstances has been increasing year in year out.
"Other journalists have been arrested, injured kidnapped or detained. Moreover, the working conditions of journalists in most cases are inadequate," he said.
"Media houses in Africa do not have adequate policies and resources to protect journalists who are assigned to cover dangerous news assignments on behalf of their news media organizations," he said.
Policies must be developed and implemented to address the risks faced by journalists, he underscored, adding conditions must be improved for African journalists who work for stories of Africans to Africans and to the rest of the world. (Xinhua)