To commemorate yesterday’s World Press Freedom Day we want to highlight the work of EF photographers who put their lives in danger to bring to light the stories that matter the most, especially in light of the worsening conditions in press freedom. According to the Associated Press, journalists are being attacked and murdered at an “astonishing pace.” Along with UN President, Ban Ki Moon, Reporters Without Borders also condemned the worsening conditions of the freedom of press — 179 journalists were detained and 67 were killed in 2011, making it the deadliest year for journalists on record. Since the beginning of this year, 22 more deaths have been reported. Just today, two Mexican photographers were found dead in a canal in the state of Veracruz. Here at home in the US, journalists too have been harassed and assaulted, and more than 70 have been arrested, mostly in relation to the Occupy Wall Street protests across the nation.
But thanks to the brave work of photographers like Thomas Van Houtryve working in the border between China and North Korea (two countries with some of the lowest press freedom rankings in the world); Cedric Gerbehaye’s work in the South Sudan; Teun Voeten’s Narco Estado in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico; Yuri Kozyrev’s work on the protests and turmoil in Yemen, these stories are coming out. Some of our 2012 EF grantees are also working in areas of dangerous conditions, including Rena Effendi in Cairo, and Ben Lowy in Libya.