Freedom of the Press

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Earlier this year I presented information on challenges to freedom of the press and the protection of journalists at an international conference on journalism held at the Hague in The Netherlands sponsored by UNESCO and the Global Fund For Media Development.

If you want to find out why the U.S. is ranked 45th in the world in terms of press freedom by Reporters without Borders you can read my article at Truthout.

On November 7th I spoke in favor of a Seattle City Council resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. I provided public comment as a resident of the city.

My Commentary

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists (SPJ), an international advocacy group for reporters, 37 journalists have been killed since the conflict began one month ago.

The group’s President, Jodie Ginsberg, told CNN and BBC News that this is the most dangerous conflict for journalists since they began keeping records over 30 years ago. The families of journalists have also been killed or wounded in Gaza.

CPJ has joined with over 200 other groups urging the U.N. Security Council, the U.N. Secretary General, and all world leaders to ensure an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories to prevent further harm to civilians.

Reporters and media workers should never be targeted by military or police forces. Freedom of the press demands freedom of movement and safety for journalists. Reporters should not have to sacrifice their lives in order to do their jobs!

The continued killing of civilians will not benefit either side in this conflict, and it will not solve any problems. This kind of violence only contributes to the trauma, fear and hatred already rampant in that area of the world. It is a humanitarian and human rights disaster.

The madness must stop! I urged the members of the Seattle city council to vote in favor of this resolution to send a clear message to the rest of the world that Seattle supports human rights and peaceful efforts to resolve armed conflicts in Gaza and anywhere in the world they may occur.

I agree with US Senator Barbara Lee: “The only way we’re going to see peace and security and justice for the Israelis and the Palestinian people is through a political and diplomatic solution.”


  • Mark Taylor-Canfield has written for Huffington Post and is a nationally recognized journalist. He's also a gifted Seattle musician and producer. 

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