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It’s a dangerous place out there for journalists, says veteran Washington Post editor

The mainstream media needs to be fair and give people the chance to make up their own minds in order to survive the current climate that has seen an erosion of trust in the press, according to veteran journalist David Ignatius.

Washington Post Associate Editor, David Ignatius, spoke of his fears for global press freedom at the FCC. Photo: Sarah Graham/FCC
Washington Post Associate Editor, David Ignatius, spoke of his fears for global press freedom at the FCC. Photo: Sarah Graham/FCC

Speaking about his fears for press freedom against the backdrop of increasing global hostility towards the media, fueled in part by US President Donald Trump and his ‘enemies of the people’ rhetoric, Ignatius said news organisations need to remain objective in their reporting to win back support.

The Associate Editor of The Washington Post said it was a dangerous time to be a journalist, citing figures on the reporters currently imprisoned around the world, and urged journalists to “cover the story progressively, we don’t want you to take risks that would lead to death or serious injury”, adding that for editors the hardest thing was to say no to a reporter who wanted to put their safety at risk to get the scoop.

Ignatius also talked movingly of his friend and colleague, journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was murdered a year ago at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. The CIA concluded Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the assassination.

“He was a complicated person… he had very extreme views as a young man. Over time he decided the way in which the world would be purified of deep corruption was journalism,” Ignatius said.

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Human Rights Press Awards

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The Human Rights Press Awards are run by the FCC, Amnesty International Hong Kong, and the Hong Kong Journalists Association. The 23rd annual awards were held on May 16, 2019, in a ceremony at the FCC. See this year’s winners.


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