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Journalists ‘under attack’ worldwide, says AP chief

Gary Pruitt says reporters’ jobs are becoming more challenging but also more important

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Journalists around the world are ‘increasingly under attack’ by people trying to influence and control the news, according to the head of The Associated Press.

Gary Pruitt, president and CEO of the news service, said greater dangers to reporters and the growing secrecy of governments make journalists’ jobs more challenging but also more important.

He spoke on Monday at a news conference before a symposium focusing on some Al Jazeera journalists imprisoned in Egypt.

Pruitt also touched on the recent death of AP photojournalist Anja Niedringhaus, who was shot dead by a policeman last week in Afghanistan while covering the run-up to the country’s elections.

Her colleague Kathy Gannon, who was seriously wounded in the attack, has now been flown to Germany for further medical treatment, AP said.

The New York-based press watchdog Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said in February that last year marked an “absolutely atrocious” year for attacks on the media.

Syria, Iraq and Egypt were the most deadly countries for journalists in 2013, which last year saw “a near record” of 211 journalists imprisoned and 70 killed because of their work, the CPJ said.

(With The Associated Press and AFP)