Special Program: Journalists Memorial Ceremony
Newseum Honors Fallen Journalists in 2009
By Andrea Silen
WASHINGTON — The list of fallen journalists honored by the Newseum's Journalists Memorial became significantly longer today — World Press Freedom Day.
The names of 94 international journalists were added to the memorial during a somber rededication ceremony that took place May 3 in the Newseum's Walter and Leonore Annenberg Theater.
The ceremony drew family, friends and colleagues of the fallen journalists, as well as official representatives of Madagascar, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Mexico.
During her keynote address, ABC News's Christiane Amanpour said journalism "is what keeps our societies civil and our democracies strong."
Amanpour praised the fallen journalists, noting that being the eyes and ears of citizens often requires one to risk his or her life.
"The people we honor today are not cynics. They come into this business … to tell the stories that need to be told, to shine that light in the darkest of corners that without them nobody would know those stories."
Amanpour expressed concern that journalists have become targets of violence in conflicts.
"The message is being shut down, and the messenger is being silenced in the most final way," she said, calling for greater protection of reporters working around the world.
Of the 94 journalists honored, 88 died in 2009. The other six journalists died before 2009; their names will be added to the memorial.
With the additional 94 inscriptions, the Journalists Memorial now contains 2,007 names of journalists who, as Amanpour said, know "what it means to fight on the front lines of truth."