The award-winning AFP foreign correspondent, Sammy Ketz, has published the following Opinion piece in many European newspapers to raise awareness of the importance to journalists as well as publishers of the publisher’s right which will once again be subject to a vote in the European Parliament on 12 September.
Sammy’s piece is written ‘from the heart’ of a working journalist about his experiences, his fears for the long term harmful impact of free-riding on journalistic content, and why it is important for MEPs to support the introduction of a neighbouring right for press publishers.
Here you can find his piece as well as a list of award winning journalists who are supporting Sammy Ketz
Dear Members of the European Parliament,
I was on a mission to write a reportage in Mosul, the Islamic State group’s former capital in northern Iraq, about children returning to a school shut down for three years by the jihadists. I was thinking of how best to describe the joy of those children as they returned to their long-forbidden desks in that ruined city.
Sitting at a restaurant with the photographer, video journalist and AFP driver before heading back to Baghdad, I read on my laptop an article about the European debate on neighbouring rights and the plan to apply them to the press. It grabbed my attention but did not come as a shock.
After five years crossing a war-shattered Syria where on several occasions I narrowly escaped being killed by snipers’ bullets or seasoned gunners’ shells, I had just arrived in Iraq for the third time since the US invasion of 2003.
In more than 40 years of reporting, I have seen the number of journalists on the ground steadily diminish while the dangers relentlessly increase. We have become targets and our reporting missions cost more and more. Gone are the days when I could go to a war in a jacket, or in shirtsleeves, an ID card in my pocket, alongside a photographer or video journalist. Now you need bullet-proof jackets, armoured cars, sometimes bodyguards, and insurance. Who pays for these expenses? The media, and it is a heavy cost.
Read more here