Imagine A Day Without News

LONDON (February 19, 2013) – A group from within the media and photojournalism industries have joined forces to raise awareness of the risks faced by journalists and photojournalists in war zones on a daily basis, and to lobby governments and tribunals to pursue and prosecute those who harm members of the news media.

Led by Aidan Sullivan, vice president for Getty Images and founder of the Ian Parry Scholarship, A Day Without News? will launch on February 22, the one year anniversary of the deaths in Syria of  legendary correspondent Marie Colvin and photojournalist Rémi Ochlik. 

By urging people to share the link to through social media, as well as show support for the cause by adding their name to the list of supporters, it is hoped that the initiative will raise awareness of the vital role correspondents and photojournalists play and the risks they face when reporting from war zones.

The group also aims to develop institutional and legal agendas to stop journalists from being targeted, and to investigate and collect evidence to support prosecutions to seek justice for these deaths.

Many correspondents, photographers, and other media professionals find themselves deliberately targeted by forces when attempting to cover conflicts around the world, and while it is considered a war crime to do so, there has been little to no enforcement of this international human rights law when it comes to journalists. Over the past decade, 945 photojournalists and correspondents have been killed while covering conflict zones, 583 of these without any resulting prosecutions as war crimes. Furthermore, 90 journalists were killed while reporting from war zones in 2012 alone, including the high profile cases of Colvin and Ochlik in Homs, Syria, along with Chris Hondros and Tim Hetherington in Misrata, Libya, in 2011.

Aidan Sullivan, vice president, Photo Assignments, Editorial Partnerships and Development for Getty Images and founder of A Day Without News? comments: “It is unacceptable that those looking to report objectively from conflict zones around the world are deliberately singled out, targeted and murdered with impunity, with those responsible for their deaths not facing any repercussions. Without these journalists bearing witness, atrocities committed in war would go unremarked and it is an equal cruelty that their deaths go without justice. This is a situation that has to change. We are heading towards a day when it will be too dangerous for journalists to enter into or report from war zones.”

Supporters of the campaign include renowned members of the media and senior government officials who have pledged to show support, including: Brent Stirton, photojournalist, Reportage by Getty Images; Christiane Amanpour, chief international correspondent, CNN; Don McCullin, photojournalist; James Nachtwey, photojournalist; Jonathan Klein, co-founder and CEO, Getty Images; Lynsey Addario, photojournalist; Sir Daniel Bethelem, QC; and Tom Stoddart, photojournalist, Reportage by Getty Images.

To download the A Day Without News press pack, including supplementary quotes from Colvin's and Ochlik’s families, biographies and background information, click here. For supporting imagery and logos, please download here.

For more further information please contact Kat Nichols at [email protected].