“We are your eyes and ears, that’s why journalism matters,” Christiane Amanpour, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador.
In an interview with the World Editors Forum, Amanpour said editors from democratic and non-democratic states need to shout from the rooftops ‘hands off journalists’, ‘do not politicize journalists’, ‘do not blame the messenger’, ‘do not kill the messenger’ and if you do we are going to hold you accountable.”
On this “anti-impunity day, there has to be a concentration of minds amongst governments, primarily, and other state actors that journalists should a), not be attacked, physically, imprisoned, jailed, tortured, killed or censored. That is unfortunately still going to happen, but b) the community has to gather around and mobilize around the notion of ending this very dangerous impunity. The vast majority of what happens to journalists is never investigated. Nobody is ever held accountable. That is why I am pleased to be here to be able to highlight the need to have an end to this impunity.”
Amanpour, who has lost friends and colleagues during her career that includes an extensive period as a war correspondent for CNN, takes the issue of journalists’ safety very personally. “It’s really important as a working journalist to be able to use any platform that is recognised by the democratic world as a way to magnify the appeal for press freedom for the safety of journalists, to allow them to do their basic work and again to end this very vile notion of impunity. “
“I never shut up. I will always tell whoever needs to be told whether it is comfortable or not that journalists are a vital part of civil society. They are vital pillars of our democracies and emerging democracies. “
VIDEO REPORTING BY CHIA LUN HUANG AND INGRID COBBEN