- The Washington Times - Monday, May 3, 2004


The names of 20 journalists who died during the war in Iraq last year and an Associated Press Television News cameraman killed while filming violence in the West Bank were among 53 names added yesterday to a memorial to those who died covering the news.

In a solemn ceremony forced inside by poor weather, relatives, friends and colleagues heard the names read aloud while a single chime sounded for each journalist who died on the job. The Freedom Forum Journalists Memorial, honoring reporters, photographers, editors and broadcasters, is rededicated each year to mark World Press Freedom Day.

Last year was the deadliest year for journalists covering conflicts since World War II.

The ceremony began with a reading of 1,475 names of other journalists who have lost their lives since 1812. The 53 new names represent a “grim testimony to the fact that journalism is becoming an increasingly dangerous profession,” said Joe Urschel, executive director of the Newseum, the journalism museum formerly located next to the Arlington memorial.

Noting it is an election year with a war in the background, NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw recalled his former colleague, correspondent David Bloom, and Atlantic Monthly editor-at-large Michael Kelly: “I miss them so much, during this year especially.”

Mr. Brokaw said Mr. Kelly “always had wonderful insights that were often iconoclastic,” and he called Mr. Bloom a “go-to guy.”

Mr. Kelly was killed last April in a Humvee accident while traveling with the U.S. Army’s 3rd Infantry Division in Iraq. Mr. Bloom died in Iraq from a pulmonary embolism that was believed to have resulted from his hours spent in a tank-recovery vehicle.

Associated Press Television News cameraman Nazeh Darwazeh was killed April 19, 2003, in the West Bank city of Nablus while filming clashes between Israeli troops and Palestinians. Witnesses said Mr. Darwazeh was shot by an Israeli soldier taking cover behind an armored vehicle in an alley. The military insisted there also were Palestinian gunmen in the alley.

This year’s list includes more than a dozen journalists believed to be targeted for their coverage of government, politics or crime in Brazil, Cambodia, Colombia, India, Nepal, the Philippines and Russia.

The museum and the memorial are financed by Freedom Forum, a nonprofit foundation dedicated to a free press.

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