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Reporter World provides a variety of safety equipment, identification products, specialized high-visibility clothing, pertinent news, product reviews, book reviews and useful links specifically for reporters, writers, assignment editors, news correspondents, journalists, ENG crews, photographers, production staff, directors, segment producers, media security personnel, and freelancers: in short, anyone who is part of the news gathering, information reporting, or documentary film industries.

Whether you're already in-country or preparing for your overseas assignment, keeping up-to-date on important news that affects reporters, correspondents, writers and other information gatherers is vital. In this section, we outline important stories relating to safety and security of reporters, writers and others. We also list important developments in our industry and the passing of key individuals within the community.

Other good places to look for news about missing, detained, imprisoned, tortured or murdered reporters are the Paris-based Reporters Sans Frontiers (Reporters Without Borders) and the New York-based, Committee to Protect Journalists.

Please note that all stories are listed in reverse chronological order within each year as indicated. That is, the most recent stories are listed first within each year and as stories are added, older reports are "pushed down" toward the bottom of this page. If you want to add a story, please contact us using the feedback address on our Terms of Service page. If you wish to remain confidential, we suggest using a Hotmail or Yahoo account to send us your tip.

You can also read news stories from other years by clicking on the applicable link in the menu on the left.


December 31, 2002 - Death Threats Cause Publisher to Drop American Writer
LOS ANGELES, CA, USA - After claiming he has received numerous death threats from Arab Muslim fundamentalists, Ethiopian publisher Russom Damba has taken the unusual step of dropping his best-selling author from his roster and declaring her book, "Long Train to the Redeeming Sin" out-of-print effectively immediately.

A native of the Sudan, novelist Kola Boof is now an American citizen. Her remarks last February that "Islam should be abolished" and that "Sudan is ruled by Satan now" apparently precipitated the fire-bombing of Damba's printing press in Rabat, Morocco. Attacks in the Moslem press, notably London's Al-Sharq Al-Aswat newspaper, reportedly convinced the publisher that his own life and that of his family is in immediate danger.

December 29, 2002 - TV Executive Assassinated in Armenia
YEREVAN, Armenia - A second television executive has been killed in Armenia in the last three months. The head of Armenia's leading television station was shot and killed in yet another attack on a media figure in the country.

Tigran Nagdalian was shot near his parents' apartment in the Armenian capital of Yerevan, and later died in surgery, said Armenian Public Television and Radio spokesman Artur Grigorian. The attacker fled and no arrests have been made. Two months ago, Mark Grigorian, deputy head of the Caucasus Institute for Mass Media, was badly injured in a grenade attack.

December 22, 2002 - Reporter Dies in Kuwait Military Exercise
KUWAIT CITY, Kuwait - A French television reporter who was hit by a tank during American military exercises in the Kuwaiti desert died today. Patrick Bourrat, a reporter for France's TF1 television station, was initially hospitalized yesterday after medical tests showed four broken ribs, but a more thorough scan revealed more severe injuries.

US Army battalion commander Lt. Col. Eric Schwartz said that Bourrat was hit after leaning into the path of incoming tanks to take a picture. According to French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin, Bourrat was "an example of professionalism at the service of information".

December 19, 2002 - Writer and Editor, Michael Ogden Dies
MONTEREY, CA, USA - Michael Ogden, an experienced newspaper reporter, editor and former head of the Associated Press Managing Editors association, died today. He was 91.

Ogden graduated from Columbia University in 1932 with a degree in journalism and got his first job as a crime reporter for the New York City News Association. He later joined Rhode Island's Providence Journal, eventually serving as its editor. It was during Ogden's watch in 1974 that the paper won a Pulitzer Prize for stories about President Nixon's extraordinary efforts to minimize his own personal federal income taxes.

December 18, 2002 - Chinese Author and Activist Detained
BEIJING, PRC - An Chinese author whose banned writings about that country's poor have appeared on activist Web sites has been arrested and detained by Chinese police. Liao Yiwu, a 42-year-old novelist and poet, was arrested in the city of Chengdu, according to New York-based China Labor Watch.

Liao's articles about the poor are banned in China but have been published in magazines and on various Web sites in other countries. Harsh poverty for millions of Chinese is an especially sensitive issue for the government and many human rights workers and reporters have found that criticism of the government has been met with arrest, deportation or jail.

December 11, 2002 - Bangladesh Releases and Deports Two Foreign Reporters
DHAKA, Bangladesh - Two European reporters were released today and deported by Bangladeshi authorities. The two men had been detained by police on "suspicion of spreading anti-government propaganda".

Working on assignment for London-based Channel Four television, Britain Zaiba Naz Malik and Italian Leopoldo Bruno Sorrentino were arrested on November 25. Police seized their camera equipment and video footage, and laid charges that the pair was in the country illegally and "preparing documentaries that falsely portrayed Bangladesh as a haven for terrorists". According to the government, Mr. Malik and Mr. Sorrentino could have faced life in prison if convicted of sedition or anti-state activities.

The government dropped its charges and deported the journalists after they signed a statement that they would not use any of the footage they collected in Bangladesh, according to the country's Foreign Ministry. The government claimed the journalists admitted they had lied about their occupations in order to investigate reports of al-Qaida terrorists hiding in Bangladesh. Police also arrested two Bangladeshi journalists, Priscila Raz and Saleem Samad, for providing assistance to Mr. Malik and Mr. Sorrentino. The fate of Raz and Samad is unclear at this point.

October 10, 2002 - Newspaper Publisher Bernard H. Ridder dies
SAN MATEO, CA, USA - Bernard ("Bernie") Ridder Jr., a member of the influential Ridder family, died today of complications from a stroke. He was 85.

Ridder was born and bred in New York City, where the family newspaper business started over a century ago. After attending Princeton University and serving in the U.S. Navy, Ridder took a number of management jobs at various family papers. In 1974, Ridder became a key proponent in the merger between the Knight and Ridder newspaper groups, a ubiquitous organization that now runs 32 daily papers across America including USA Today.

October 10, 2002 - Arab TV Cameraman Held at Guantanamo
HAVANA, Cuba - A producer for the Arab satellite station al-Jazeera said a cameraman allegedly detained at the US naval base in Cuba is being held illegally and without charge.

Cameraman Sami al-Haj, a Sudanese national, was detained by Pakistani authorities on December 15, 2001 while working on a story near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border and later turned over to the US military. Mr. al-Haj was subsequently removed to Camp Delta, located in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

September 28, 2002 - Roddy Scott found dead in Ingushetia
LONDON, UK - The body of British photojournalist, Roddy Scott, has been found in Ingushetia, a region that is adjacent to Chechnya. He was 31 years old. Scott was apparently killed while covering the Chechen conflict, one of the world's most dangerous battlegrounds. In a sad twist of irony, Scott was also co-author of a book called The World's Most Dangerous Places (see Safety Books), a popular travel guide based in part on his experiences to cover stories in places where other reporters would not travel.

Russian forces on maneuvers in Ingushetia found the body of a man carrying a video camera, cassettes and a British passport with Scott's name among dozens of dead rebel soldiers. Scott was no stranger to death. Besides covering horrific war stories for years, Scott himself almost died of malaria while covering earlier conflicts in war-torn Sierra Leone.

September 6, 2002 - Journalists Threatened After Investigating Seagal Extortion
LOS ANGELES, CA, USA - Police are investigating two separate reports of threats against journalists who wrote pieces describing alleged Mafia attempts to extort money from actor Steven Seagal.

Ned Zeman, a Vanity Fair writer, told police that a motorist pulled up alongside his car on August 26, pointed a gun at him and screamed, "Stop". In June, police say that the car of Anita Busch, a reporter for the Los Angeles Times, was seriously vandalized and a note with the word "Stop" was left on her car window.

Both Busch and Zeman had earlier reported on a federal grand jury indictment involving Julius Nasso, a filmmaker who was Seagal's former business partner. According to court documents, Nasso was arrested in June and charged with conspiring with the Mafia to extort money from Seagal. Read update to this story.

September 2, 2002 - Journalist Claims Attack by Police
SRINAGAR, India - Police attacked and roughed up an Indian reporter who attended the scene of a traffic accident involving a senior police officer, according to Muzzamil Jaleel, chief of the Srinagar bureau of The Indian Express newspaper. The reporter was taken to hospital with head injuries after the assault, but was released after a few hours of observation.

Mr. Jaleel was quoted as saying he stepped out of his home after hearing a car crash and found police beating the driver and passenger of a car that had collided with the jeep escorting Superintendent of Police Rafiqul Hassan. When Jaleel was sighted observing the police, he himself was set upon and beaten with rifle butts until he fell unconscious. The matter is being investigated by police.

August 19, 2002 - Veteran AP Correspondent Bill Feather Dies
ALBUQUERQUE, NM, USA - Retired Associated Press reporter Bill Feather died today. He was 74. Feather's journalism career spanned over 30 years and he covered the New Mexico state house for the Associated Press continuously from 1958 to 1990, except for a two-year stint as editor of The Santa Fe New Mexican. Feather also worked for the El Paso Times, the Amarillo Daily News and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram before joining the AP's Albuquerque bureau in 1956.

August 18, 2002 - New Details Emerge in Pearl Murder
KARACHI, Pakistan - Unidentified police investigators here have leaked new details about Danny Pearl's abduction and murder earlier this year. Pearl was reportedly beaten and shot in one leg after he tried to escape from his kidnappers. Two men, named by police as Fazal Karim and Zubair Chishti, prevented Pearl from escaping and were responsible for his injuries.

According to Pakistani police, Karim, Chishti and another man named Naeem Bukhari, murdered Pearl two days later. As one man videotaped Pearl answering a series of questions, Karim reportedly seized Pearl's hands and another man slit Pearl's throat. Although the actual murder was supposed to have been videotaped, police say the cameraman lost his nerve and the actual death was not filmed. The videotape showing Pearl first alive and then dead was later sent to the US Consulate in Karachi.

August 9, 2002 - Danny Pearl's Body Returned to Family
LOS ANGELES, CA, USA - The body of assassinated Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl was returned to his family for burial. Pearl's body had earlier been recovered from a shallow grave where it was hidden after being first tortured and then decapitated, apparently by Islamic militants.

Pearl, aged 38, was kidnapped on January 23 in Karachi while working on a story about links between Pakistani-based Islamic extremists and Richard Reid, a British man arrested in December 2001. Reid allegedly tried to blow up a Miami-bound plane using explosives hidden in his shoes.

July 30, 2002 - Man Arrested at L.A. Times' Editorial Offices
LOS ANGELES, CA, USA - Police today arrested a man who had allegedly threatened to blow up the Los Angeles Times newspaper building. When searched the man was found to have a backpack containing only paper documents. Despite this, police ordered an evacuation of a small downtown area of Los Angeles. After nearly a nearly five-hour standoff, an unidentified man was taken into custody by LAPD SWAT officers. According to police, the man chose the Times building at random.

July 24, 2002 - Two Reporters Can Challenge Zimbabwe Media Law
HARARE, Zimbabwe - Two journalists currently charged with the offense of "writing and publishing an inaccurate story" have been given leave to challenge the law's constitutionality.

Geoff Nyarota, editor of Zimbabwe's The Daily News, and reporter Lloyd Mudiwa were charged after the newspaper published a report saying an opposition supporter had been beheaded. Police and the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change said the beheading did not happen. The newspaper had already printed a retraction and apology, suggesting its reporter may have been purposely deceived.

The recently passed law makes it illegal to publish inaccurate information, whether or not a journalist knew it was false. Critics both in Zimbabwe and in the international community, have denounced the law suggesting it is aimed at controlling the press. Already 13 journalists have been charged, and each faces a maximum sentence of two years in prison if found guilty.

July 20, 2002 - DNA Tests Confirm Pearl's Body
KARACHI, Pakistan - The government here has confirmed through DNA testing that a previously unidentified body found in a shallow grave is, in fact, slain Wall Street Journal reporter Danny Pearl. It was widely thought the body found in May a short distance from a Karachi mosque was Pearl's but until today, there was no official confirmation.

July 13, 2002 - Veteran Photographer Yousuf Karsh Dies
BOSTON, MA, USA - Portrait photographer Yousuf Karsh has died at the age of 93. Karsh gained a world-wide prominence with his 1941 portrait of a defiant Winston Churchill as well as many "working" shots of famous celebrities such as Dr. Albert Einstein and Ernest Hemingway. In his career, Karsh photographed thousands of other newsmakers including Nikita Khrushchev, Prince Charles, Mikhail Gorbachev, George Bernard Shaw, Albert Einstein, Cuban Fidel Castro as well as Audrey Hepburn, Brigitte Bardot and Humphrey Bogart.

Karsh was born to an Armenian family in Turkey, but fled after massacres in his home town of Mardin. He arrived in Canada in 1924 and opened his first Ottawa photography studio six years later. Although active around the world, Karsh made his home in the Canadian capital city.

July 13, 2002 - Police Fear Pearl Trail Decision Will Cause Riots
HYDERABAD, Pakistan - Police in this country are bracing for country-wide violent backlash by Islamic militants ahead of the verdict this week in the trial of four men accused in the kidnap and killing of Wall Street Journal correspondent Danny Pearl. Reporters are urged to be extremely careful in this region, use trusted bodyguards and wear concealed body armor, if possible.

July 5, 2002 - Defense Arguments End in Danny Pearl Case
HYDERABAD, Pakistan - The lawyer for the chief defendant in the killing of Wall Street Journal reporter Danny Pearl finished his final argument Friday. During his summation, Mr. Abdul Waheed Katpar said that witness inconsistencies and suspicions about police coercion should lead to his client's acquittal.

The lawyer for Islamic militant Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, said in his final summation that testimony by several of the government's prosecution witnesses was contradictory. Further, Mr. Katpar suggested that much of the government's evidence against his client was fabricated and "willing" confessions were made as a result of torture.

May 28, 2002 - Author and Writer Mildred Benson Dies
TOLEDO, OH, USA - Mildred Benson, the writer of the first 23 Nancy Drew books under the pseudonym Carolyn Keene, died today. She was 96. From 1930 to 1953, Ms. Benson received $125 per Nancy Drew novel, but signed away all rights, royalties and authorship acknowledgments. Besides Nancy Drew, Ms. Benson also had a long and distinguished journalism career working for the Toledo Times and the Blade.

March 2, 2002 - Writer, Author and Broadcaster Peter Gzowski Dies
TORONTO, ON, Canada - Noted Canadian author, writer and broadcaster Peter Gzowski died away today. He was 67. From 1982 to 1997, Mr. Gzowski was host of CBC's Morningside program, a news and current affairs radio program that reached millions of listeners across Canada and around the world.

Mr. Gzowski began his career when he was at the University of Toronto, where he became editor of the country's largest student newspaper, The Varsity. Once graduated, he worked for a series of publications including Macleans, The Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail, and Canadian Living magazine. He also wrote a number of best-selling books including The Game of Our Lives, The Morningside Papers and A Peter Gzowski Reader.

February 18, 2002 - Broadcaster and Writer Harvey Kirck Dies
TORONTO, ON, Canada - CTV television anchor Harvey Kirck, famous for his quick, gruff delivery of news, has died at age 73. Kirck spent over two decades at the network, first as a reporter and then as a news anchor and co-anchor with Lloyd Robertson on the network's evening news. Mr. Kirck also appeared on several other high-profile network shows including Canada A.M., Inside Canada and Sketches of Our Town. Kirck also wrote, and penned the best-selling Nobody Calls Me Mr. Kirck.

End of the 2002 News page.