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IFJ renews commitment to journalists in danger zones

(IFJ/IFEX) - The following is an abbreviated version of an IFJ media release:

IFJ Renews Commitment to Journalists in India's Danger Zones

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is stepping up its work in India's hardest hit conflict zones, where journalists and media workers are in urgent need of support to build networks for monitoring and reporting on media rights violations.

Recent murders of journalists in Manipur and Assam and the killing of two journalists in cross-fire incidents in Jammu and Kashmir in 2008 underscore the extreme risks and difficulties for media personnel living and working in India's regions of conflict.

Situation reports prepared by the IFJ on the current situation for journalists and media in Jammu and Kashmir and the North-East note that the ability of journalists to report on ground realities is constantly undermined by pressures from all sides for the media to report in line with the interests of rival non-state and state groups.

Independent reporting and critical analysis in these states - which also include Nagaland, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim - incur violent targeted responses, cross-fire is a serious risk for news gatherers, self-censorship is common and information about what is happening in the most dangerous areas is limited, according to the IFJ reports.

Adding to the woes for media personnel, rapid growth in media outlets has not been accompanied by an assurance of fair and decent working conditions.

The IFJ reports are now available on the IFJ Asia-Pacific website at:

The reports are released as the IFJ launches the second phase of its program to support journalists and media workers in India's conflict areas, including Jammu and Kashmir and the North-East, as well as Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, western Orissa, the Telangana region and Vidarbha.

"The IFJ is deeply committed to working with journalists and media workers in India's most volatile regions, where conflict and partisanship are a serious impediment to independent news reporting and pose grave dangers for media personnel dedicated to reporting in the public interest," IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park said.

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To read the full media release, see:

The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 120 countries worldwide.

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