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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 16, 2007 - French reporter kidnapped in Somalia
MOGADISHU, Somalia – French cameraman, Mr. Gwen Le Gouil, has apparently been kidnapped while working in northern Somalia. Local authorities were quoted as saying Mr. Le Gouil is being held for $70,000 ransom.

According to Reporters Without Borders (“RSF”) Mr. Gwen Le Gouil was snatched just outside of the Somalia port city of Bossaso. The city is a main departure point for refugees who pay members of the underworld to smuggle them across the Gulf of Aden and into Yemen or other Arab countries.

Because the Bossaso-to-Yemen route is also used by arms smugglers, it was unclear at press time whether it was human traffickers, arms dealers or others who are responsible for Mr. Le Gouil’s kidnapping. According to RSF, Somalia is the most dangerous country in the world for journalists with the notable exception of Iraq.

July 30, 2007 – Talk show host Tom Snyder dies at 71
SAN FRANCISCO, CA, USA – Mr. Tom Snyder, an erudite yet improvised talk show host who seemed to chain-smoke his way joyously through each interview, died yesterday after a two-year struggle with lymphocytic leukemia. He was 71.

Mr. Snyder conducted hundreds of unforgettably brilliant interviews as host of NBC's "The Tomorrow Show”, a talk show that followed the ubiquitous "The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson”. Among his many guests were John Lennon, Charles Manson and Johnny Rotten.

In 1995, the irreverent interviewer returned to late night television, as the host of "The Late Late Show with Tom Snyder" on CBS. He filled this night-owl slot that followed David Letterman's "The Late Show" until 1998.

July 27, 2007 – Four journalists killed when Phoenix TV choppers collide
PHOENIX, AZ, USA – At least three choppers were in-air shooting live footage of a local police chase involving a stolen truck when two of the helicopters collided with each other, crashed in a park in central Phoenix and burnt. Two reporters from each chopper were killed in the incident. No ground injuries were reported.

TV viewers, who were watching the live footage, did not actually see the mid-air collision because cameras aboard both ill-fated helicopters were trained on the ground police chase. Once the cameraman in the nearby third helicopter saw the incident, he shot the falling wreckage of the first two choppers but this was not shown live.

Reporter, Mr. Scott Bowerbank and photographer Mr. Jim Cox were on-board the KTVK chopper. Aboard the KNXV helicopter were reporter/pilot Craig Smith and photographer Rick Krolak. It was not known at press time what caused the incident but the apparent lack of vertical separation between the two helicopters was mentioned by at least one eyewitness.

July 4, 2007 – Kidnapped BBC reporter freed in Gaza
GAZA, Palestinian Territories – Kidnapped BBC reporter Mr. Alan Johnston was released late last night after 16 weeks of solitary confinement in a darkened room. Mr. Johnston had been snatched by unknown gunmen on March 12 but seemed to be in excellent condition considering the circumstances of the last four months. In a hastily arranged press conference, Mr. Johnston said it felt “fantastic” to be free.

After his release, Mr. Johnston described how he was chained up for 24 hours at one point during his captivity, moved from the original holding place twice and roughed up and beaten just before he was released. He also reported that his captors "did threaten my life a number of times in various ways". Mr. Johnston is said to be headed to Britain as soon as possible for some well deserved rest and recuperation from his ordeal.

Gaza's new Hamas rulers claimed Mr. Johnston’s release marks the beginning of a new era of lawfulness in this region where few outsiders dare to venture. This boast, however, was not aimed at Mr. Johnston’s captors, reportedly a group that calls itself “the Army of Islam”. The group will escape any justice or retribution because of its close ties to one of the area’s most powerful clans. Some have speculated that the kidnapping and subsequent release of Mr. Johnston was merely a political trick, designed to show Western politicians that Hamas is a lawful government despite recent actions to the contrary.

July 2, 2007 – Trial for murdered journalist starts
ISTANBUL, Turkey – The trial of 18 people charged in the murder of prominent Turkish-Armenian journalist Mr. Hrant Dink opened here today. Mr. Dink, 53, was gunned down just outside his newspaper's office in Istanbul on January 19, 2007. His murder triggered anger and shock across Turkey, especially in the Armenian community. The assassination also caused increased international criticism concerning the safety of journalists within Turkey and, on a wider scale, the twin issues of human rights and the country’s possible accession into the European Community.

An unemployed teenager from the small Turkish town of Trabzon, a nationalist stronghold, is accused of carrying out the murder and prosecutors say the young man has confessed. Two of the other 17 defendants are accused of ordering the murder in reprisal for Mr. Dink’s writings. Mr. Dink had written extensively about the mass killing of Armenians by Turks during the First World War. The “Armenian issue” as it is often referred to here is an extremely controversial and divisive matter in Turkey.

But some critics allege links between nationalists – who reject the entire contention that one million Armenians were slaughtered in 1915 – and some elements of Turkey’s own security forces. Video footage has emerged, for example, showing Mr. Dink’s alleged killer posing triumphantly with police under the national flag after his arrest. One Turkish newspaper suggested the teenager was treated like a hero by security forces after his arrest.

July 1, 2007 – Taiwanese director Yang dies at 59
LOS ANGELES, CA, USA – Mr. Edward Yang, a celebrated Chinese film artist who won best director during the 2000 Cannes Film Festival for his realistic portrayals of modern Taiwan, has died of complications from a long battle with colon cancer. He was 59.

Born in Shanghai in 1947, Mr. Yang and his family moved to Taiwan during the civil war between the communists and the ruling Nationalists. After studying engineering in Taiwan, he received a master's degree at the University of Florida. For a brief time, Mr. Yang worked as a computer engineer before becoming a film director.

Not surprisingly considering his background, Yang focused his stories on and in Taipei. His 1991 masterpiece titled "A Brighter Summer Day" was set in the 1950s and featured Elvis-worshipping teenage boys who join up with gangsters. Many of the actors Mr. Yang used were unknowns at the time, but gained fame and fortune after their initial debut in Yang’s movies.

June 30, 2007 - ABC movie critic Joel Siegel dies
NEW YORK, NY, USA – Mr. Joel Siegel, a longtime movie critic for ABC’s "Good Morning America" show, died yesterday after a long fight with cancer. He was 63.

Mr. Siegel got his start at the network by working for ABC’s New York affiliate WABC-TV and grew famous by providing humorous reviews of movies. He especially reveled in bad movies that seemed to be particularly made for Mr. Siegel’s sense of humor.

With his trademark thick mustache and distinctive glasses, Mr. Siegel won five New York Emmy Awards and was honored by the New York State Associated Press Broadcasters Association for general excellence in individual reporting.

June 6, 2007 – Afghan radio station owner shot dead
KABUL, Afghanistan – Ms. Zakia Zaki, an owner of a small radio station in Afghanistan for which she also served as a reporter, has been murdered by at least three unknown gunmen as she slept with her children. She was 35.

According to an Interior Ministry spokesman, Ms. Zaki was shot last night at least seven times in the chest and head. All six of her children were with her in the house located just north of the capital city. Her 20-month-old son was reportedly in the same bed with her although he was not physically harmed.

Although the motive for her murder was unknown at press time, Ms. Zaki was one of the few female journalists in this country and frequently spoke out against the Taliban's control and the country’s many active Mujahideen soldiers. Another possible motive for her murder is her management of the US-funded station, Radio Peace, since it opened after the fall of the Taliban regime in 2001.

May 31, 2007 – Two military photographers killed on duty
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan – Master Corporal Darrell Priede, a Canadian military photographer attached to the public affairs unit of NATO Regional Command South and Corporal Mike Gilyeat, a British military photographer attached to the same unit, were killed yesterday.

The two were killed when the helicopter they were riding in was apparently shot down. MCpl. Priede and Cpl. Gilyeat had been in-country for less than six weeks.

Both photographers had been assigned to document an American-led attack against Taliban insurgents who were preventing coalition troops from clearing the area so that a major dam reconstruction could proceed. Also killed in the incident were five US soldiers.

May 18, 2007 – Two Iraqi journalists murdered
BAGHDAD, Iraq – ABC News has announced that two Iraqi journalists working for the network were ambushed and killed as they drove home from work last night.

According to witnesses, cameraman Mr. Alaa Uldeen Aziz, aged 33, and soundman Mr. Saif Laith Yousuf, aged 26, were forced from their car by two other vehicles packed with several unidentified armed men. The two men were forced into the gunmen’s car and driven away.

Due to the fact that many places in Baghdad are simply too dangerous to send in foreign journos, many Western news organizations now use local Iraqi talent to gather footage.

May 9, 2007 – Four journalists killed in shooting
BAGHDAD, Iraq – Local police have announced that four local journalists were killed today in a drive-by shooting near the northern city of Kirkuk.

The four journalists worked for the Raad Media Company, an organization that publishes several weekly newspapers and monthly magazines, mainly specializing in politics and the arts. Police have identified the victims as Mr. Raad Mutashar, the company's managing director, Mr. Imad Abdul-Razzaq, Mr. Aqil Abdul-Qadir and Mr. Nibras Razzaq.

According to eyewitnesses, several attackers armed with military-style, automatic weapons intentionally fired on a vehicle carrying the four journalists driving in the Rashad area, approximately 30 km southwest of Kirkuk. A motive for the murders was not immediately known but sectarian violence in this area is not uncommon.

May 2, 2007 – Al-Jazeera reporter jailed for reenactment
CAIRO, Egypt – Ms. Howaida Taha, a reporter for the TV news outlet al-Jazeera, was sentenced in absentia in an Egyptian court to six months in prison.

Ms. Taha was found guilty of harming Egypt's national interests by fabricating video footage of police torture. Lawyers for Ms. Taha defended the Al-Jazeera video as a documentary reconstruction of torture scenes played by actors and this was made known to watchers of its broadcast at the time.

Human rights groups have often criticized Egyptian police for torturing suspects but the government here has consistently denied the charges, despite some examples of physical evidence and eyewitness testimony to the contrary.

April 21, 2007 – LA Times to cut about 150 jobs
LOS ANGELES, CA, USA – The Los Angeles Times is expected to cut approximately 150 jobs next week amid slumping advertising revenue, new ownership and other factors.

According to the newspaper, the cuts would constitute more than five percent of the overall work force at the paper and reduce the number of reporters and other newsroom staff from 940 to 870. It is thought that many of the cuts will come from a voluntary buyout process.

Changes had been anticipated since November 2006, when editor Dean Baquet was forced to resign, reportedly because he refused to cut jobs in the newsroom. The paper’s owner, publicly traded Tribune Co., also owns the flagship Chicago Tribune, several other American newspapers, various TV stations and the Chicago Cubs baseball team. Tribune Co. recently accepted an $8.2 billion offer to take the company private.

April 5, 2007 – Cameraman’s body found beaten and dumped
HARARE, Zimbabwe – Mr. Edward Chikomba, an experienced cameraman who was abducted from his home here in the capital one week ago today, has been found tortured and murdered.

Local police have announced that Mr. Chikomba's badly beaten body was discovered lying just off a road approximately 50 km (30 miles) west of Harare.

One theory behind Mr. Chikomba’s murder was that it was meant as a message to other reporters who might otherwise defy the ruling party and country strongman President Robert Mugabe. It was rumored that Mr. Chikomba was responsible for shooting footage, arranging it to be smuggled out of the country and shown on foreign TV outlets. The footage embarrassed the government because it highlighted the deteriorating condition of the country’s economy, high levels of government corruption and the near-civil war under which Zimbabwe operates.

April 5, 2007 – Retired ABC chief dies at age 88
LOS ANGELES, CA, USA – Mr. Tom Moore, whose leadership in the 1960s enabled the newly formed ABC Television Network become a household brand and eventually rival the established CBS and NBC networks, has died of congestive heart failure. He was 88.

Mr. Moore was head of programming at ABC from 1958 to 1962, and was subsequently promoted to network president, a position he held from 1963 to 1968. During his tenure, the network tilted its shows toward a younger audience, whose needs Mr. Moore believed the other two networks were ignoring. In the process, ABC introduced the concept of wide-scale demographic advertiser-based profiling, a model that remains in place today. It was on his watch that shows such as "My Three Sons", "Peyton Place", "Batman" and "The Addams Family" debuted.

Mr. Moore’s hand was on a great many other TV innovations and pivotal decisions at the young network. He was widely credited for developing ABC Sports as a separate division and helped produce ABC’s popular Monday Night Football dynasty. Under his tenure, the Sports division won several Emmys for the weekly ABC's Wide World of Sports and for its Olympics coverage. Mr. Moore left ABC and ran his own production company Tomorrow Entertainment where he won Emmys for in-depth programs such as "The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman" and "The Body Human".

April 5, 2007 – Film director dies at hands of drunk driver
LOS ANGELES, CA, USA – Mr. Bob Clark, whose offbeat film "A Christmas Story" catalogued one family’s holiday dreams and disillusionments, was killed late last night as a result of a car crash. He was 67.

According to police, Mr. Clark and his son, Ariel Hanrath-Clark, aged 22 and who was also killed in the incident, were traveling on the Pacific Coast Highway near Los Angeles when they were struck and killed by an SUV driven by a drunk driver who had steered into the wrong lane. The driver of the other vehicle has been charged with a number of offences by local police and is being held in jail.

Mr. Clark had a prolific film and TV directing career with movies including “Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things,” “Murder by Decree”, “Breaking Point” and “Black Christmas”. He gained notoriety for the circa 1950s teen movie "Porky's" and later “Porky's II: The Next Day”. A number of comedies Mr. Clark directed were successful by box office standards but panned by critics: “Karate Dog", "Baby Geniuses" and "Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2". Other movies include "Rhinestone", "Turk 182!", and "Loose Cannons".

April 3, 2007 – American videographer freed after 226 days
SAN FRANCISCO, CA, USA – Mr. Joshua Wolf, a freelance videographer jailed after spending 226 days in federal jail for refusing to hand over footage of a demonstration in which a local police officer was injured and a police car set on-fire, was freed today. Mr. Wolf holds the dubious distinction of spending more time behind bars than any other reporter for refusing to testify before a grand jury.

In a deal with federal prosecutors, Mr. Wolf finally agreed to post his previously unaired videotape online but did not testify in front of the grand jury. US District Judge William Alsup, the same judge who was responsible for imprisoning the 24-year-old Mr. Wolf for more than seven months in connection with his footage of a 2005 anti-G8 riot, was satisfied with the deal and released the videographer.

Mr. Wolf's legal counsel had argued that the US Constitution’s First Amendment gave the videographer the right to refuse the subpoena for unaired video. The judge, however, cited a 1972 US Supreme Court ruling that the Constitution does not let reporters withhold confidential sources or unpublished material from either a grand jury investigation or full criminal trial. California's so-called “shield law” does let reporters keep sources and unpublished material confidential but federal law – purposely used in this case despite the fact police are investigating a local crime – does not.

April 2, 2007 – Gunfire at CNN Atlanta complex kills one
ATLANTA, GA, USA – Police here have reported that an apparent domestic dispute erupted into gunfire at CNN's headquarters and ended in the death of a woman and critically wounding the man who shot her.

According to CNN, the man and woman were seen arguing near the main entrance of the media complex when he pulled out a gun and shot her. Shortly afterwards the assailant was confronted and shot by an armed CNN security guard. Both the woman and her attacker were taken to hospital, where the woman is reported to have died. The man is in critical condition., the online division of the news organization, was immediately evacuated and the building’s disaster plan was set in motion. With no shortage of news cameras in the building, it wasn’t long before the shooting itself became news, both on the famous large-screen TV screens within the complex, but on-air where the tragedy was covered by the news network.

March 24, 2007 – Publishing magnate Robert Petersen dies
LOS ANGELES, CA, USA – Mr. Robert E. Petersen, a publishing magnate whose empire included the influential “Hot Rod”, “Motor Trend” and “Guns & Ammo” magazines, died yesterday in Santa Monica. He was 80.

Mr. Petersen was the son of an auto mechanic and founded “Hot Rod” in 1948 to hype a Los Angeles custom car show, a growing demographic in America after World War II ended. The following year, Mr. Petersen launched “Motor Trend” for more general car enthusiasts and more specialty consumer magazines followed including: “Sport”, “Motorcyclist”, “Hunting”, “Mountain Biker”, “Photographic”, and breaking his trend of macho titles, “Teen and Sassy”.

When he sold off his publishing empire in 1996, Petersen Publishing's annual revenue was estimated to be worth $275 million.

March 19, 2007 - Director Stuart Rosenberg dies
LOS ANGELES, CA, USA – Mr. Stuart Rosenberg, an inexhaustible director of series TV and movies including “Cool Hand Luke”, “Brubaker” and “The Amityville Horror” has died of heart failure at his home in Beverly Hills. He was 79.

Mr. Rosenberg had started out in the 1950s by directing episodes of the television series “Decoy,” a breakthrough police drama that co-starred a female as a New York City cop. At that time, both on- and off-camera, women were relegated to simple supporting roles of wives, secretaries or nurses. “Decoy” changed that.

Besides “Decoy”, Mr. Rosenberg directed hundreds of episodes of TV programs including “The Untouchables”, “Alfred Hitchcock Presents” and “The Twilight Zone”. In 1963, he won an Emmy Award for an episode of “The Defenders.” After working with Mr. Paul Newman in “Cool Hand Luke”, Mr. Rosenberg directed Mr. Jack Lemmon and Ms. Catherine Deneuve in “The April Fools". He worked again with Mr. Newman on “WUSA”, “Pocket Money” and “The Drowning Pool” and directed Mr. Robert Redford in the 1980 film “Brubaker”. 1979’s “Amityville Horror” inspired seven sequels to date and his last feature – in 1991 – was “My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys”.

March 19, 2007 – Kidnapped Italian journalist freed
KABUL, Afghanistan –  Mr. Daniele Mastrogiacomo, an Italian journalist kidnapped two weeks ago from Helmand province, has been released and is recuperating in a small hospital in Lashkargah.

Mr. Mastrogiacomo, a reporter for Italian daily La Repubblica, was kidnapped along with two Afghani press assistants traveling with him in Helmand’s Nad Ali district. At that time, Taliban insurgents claimed responsibility.

Neither the Afghan or Italian government is said to know the fate of the two Afghani nationals who were kidnapped with Mr. Mastrogiacomo.

March 18, 2007 - Memorial for slain director unveiled
AMSTERDAM, Netherlands – Friends, acquaintances and fans of Mr. Theo Van Gogh, the controversial filmmaker found shot and stabbed to death in 2004, unveiled a memorial sculpture that depicts him screaming near the spot where he was murdered.

Appropriately named “The Scream,” the stainless steel and ceramic memorial presents a series of profiles of Mr. Van Gogh gradually opening his mouth into a cry. The sculpture by Mr. Jeroen Henneman was meant as a tribute to both free speech and how Mr. Van Gogh was repeatedly shot and stabbed on a busy Amsterdam street.

As he fell dying, Mr. Van Gogh’s throat was slit and the knife thrust into his chest with a note threatening Ms. Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a member of Dutch parliament and a vocal critic of how radical Islam treats women. According to Dutch prosecutors, Mr. Van Gogh’s most recent film called “Submission” had enraged his killer because it contained segments where near-naked women were posed with Quranic texts superimposed on their skin.

March 12, 2007 – BBC reporter kidnapped in Gaza
GAZA, Palestinian Territories – Masked gunmen have apparently this morning kidnapped a BBC reporter from his car in Gaza City, Palestinian security officials confirmed.

As he was being spirited into the kidnap vehicle by at least four assailants, the journalist managed to toss out a business card identifying him as Mr. Alan Johnston of the BBC. Palestinian security forces later found a car abandoned near Mr. Johnston’s Gaza City apartment. When searched, the car was said to contain paperwork that identified it as a vehicle leased by the BBC.

The BBC said that Mr. Johnston has been reporting from Gaza for the past three years. A representative from the news organization could not positively confirm the kidnapping and no group has yet to take responsibility for Mr. Johnston’s disappearance. You can read about Mr. Johnson's release on July 4, 2007 by clicking here.

March 6, 2007 – Reporters Without Borders marks International Women's Day
PARIS, France – With International Women’s Day just two days away, Paris-based reporters’ rights organization Reporters Sans Frontières (RSF), has noted an increase in violence against female journalists worldwide.

According to the organization, "more and more women journalists are the victims of murder, arrest, threats or intimidation. The most striking case is [Ms.] Anna Politkovskaya's recent murder in Moscow. This mother of two paid with her life for her opposition to the Russian government's policies in Chechnya.” You can read about this story here.

Of the 82 journalists killed worldwide in 2006, RSF reports that nine (11 percent) were women. In 2005, nearly 13 percent of the journalists killed in the course of their duties were female, the highest percentage ever. Death and severe injury, however, aren’t the only calamities that can befall reporters. RSF reports that seven female journalists are known to be currently held in prison. They are Ms. Munusamy Parameshawary (Sri Lanka), Ms. Saidia Ahmed (Eritrea), Ms. Serkalem Fassil (Ethiopia), Ms. Rabiaa Abdul Wahab (Iraq), Ms. Umida Niyazova (Uzbekistan), Ms. Agnes Uwimana Nkusi (Rwanda) and Ms. Tatiana Mukakibibi (Rwanda).

March 4, 2007 – French writer Henri Troyat dies at 95
PARIS, France – L’Académie française, the state-run official moderator of the French language, has announced that Mr. Henri Troyat, one of the country’s most popular and prolific writers has died. He was 95.

The young Troyat came to France in 1920 along with his family who had lost everything during Russia's Communist revolution, wandering through Istanbul and Venice before finally settling in Paris. During his prolific life, he wrote more than 100 works, including novels, biographies and plays. Not surprisingly considering his background, much of his work concentrated on major Russian figures such as Tolstoy, Catherine the Great and Pushkin but he also wrote about his adopted country with much love: his well-researched biographies on Emile Zola and Honoré de Balzac gained him much notoriety.

Mr. Troyat was always popular with the French, evidenced by the fact that he also won numerous journalistic awards as well as the country’s highest Legion of Honor ranking, the Grand-Croix (“Grand Cross”).

March 2, 2007 – Canadian editor Doris Anderson dies at 85
Toronto, ON, Canada – Ms. Doris Anderson, an editor, columnist and political activitist, who paved the way for women’s rights in Canada and made Chatelaine the best read magazine in the country under her editorship in the 1960s and 1970s, died today in hospital of pulmonary fibrosis. She was 85.

After high school, the young Hilda Doris Buck went to teacher’s college, graduating in 1940. Although teaching provided her with enough money to put herself through the University of Alberta, the vocation wasn’t to her liking. The other two career choices available to working women at the time – secretary or a nurse – also were unattractive to her. Instead she decided on the rough and tumble world of journalism, taking a series of editorial jobs in both print and radio.

After a brief stint as a fiction writer in London, she returned to Toronto, eventually taking a job as an editorial assistant at Chatelaine. Six years after joining the magazine, she had risen through the ranks to become editor, a job she was reluctantly given after she threatened to quit if management appointed another man over her into the position. Under her editorial leadership, Chatelaine grew to the most popular magazine in Canada. After frequent battles with her publisher, she quit to become a columnist at The Toronto Star and to write several fiction books.

February 13, 2007 - Google loses latest copyright round
BRUSSELS, Belgium - A court here today ruled in favor of a Belgium newspaper collective that sued Mountain View, California-based Google Inc., claiming that the popular Web search engine and advertising network infringed on numerous copyrights and demanding the offending intellectual property be removed.

The court ruled in favor of Copiepresse, a group representing 18 newspapers that originally complained that Google’s cached links offered what amounted to free access to its otherwise revenue-generating archived articles. The court ruled the search engine company must immediately remove from its service any articles, photos or links that it displays without the newspapers’ explicit permission. Google vowed it would appeal the decision.

Google’s problems came soon after the company launched a Belgian version of its popular Google News service in January 2006. In its original court filings, Copiepresse claimed that Google had committed massive copyright infringement by listing and caching the newspaper group’s intellectual property without permission or payment. You can read an earlier story about this by clicking here.

February 9, 2007 – TV chief quits over terror scare
ATLANTA, GA, USA – The head of the edgy Cartoon Network has left the company after a marketing stunt caused a terror alert in Boston. Mr. Jim Samples said he felt he had to resign from the top job at the channel “in recognition of the gravity of the situation”. The Cartoon Network is a division of the Turner Broadcasting System.

Authorities in Boston put the city on high alert late last month when several flashing signs were discovered attached to key structures in and around central Boston. In all, 38 signs were eventually found and deactivated. Several major roads and bridges were cordoned off while police investigated and at least one of the battery-powered signs, which was apparently placed to promote a specific Cartoon Network TV show, was destroyed in a controlled explosion.

Interestingly, the flashing signs had also been placed in at least nine other American cities as part of the wider publicity campaign. None of the other cities, however, raised an alarm. According to some reports, several of the signs had been seen blinking for weeks before anyone noticed.

January 31, 2007 – Author Sidney Sheldon dies at 89
LOS ANGELES, CA, USA – Mr. Sidney Sheldon, whose award-winning career crossed four media including Broadway theater, cinema, books and television, has died. He was 89.

Mr. Sheldon was born in Chicago on February 17, 1917. At the age of 10, he made his first literary sale, scoring $10 for a poem he wrote. Only seven years later, he moved to Hollywood and found a job as a script reader at Universal Studios. It was here that he sold his first screenplay, "South of Panama," for $250.

After serving in the Second World War, Mr. Sheldon came into his own as a writer, supplying a seemingly inexhaustible sting of hits. At one point, he had three musicals running concurrently on Broadway and received a Tony award as one of the writers of the play “Redhead”. His first assignment upon his return to Hollywood was "The Bachelor and the Bobbysoxer", a project that earned him an Oscar for best original screenplay of 1947.

He also wrote and produced “The Patty Duke Show” lasting for seven seasons and "I Dream of Jeannie," which lasted for five. During “I Dream of Jeanie”, Mr. Sheldon turned his talents to book writing. While his first novel, "The Naked Face," sold over 20,000 copies in hardcover and over 3 million in paperback, it was his other books, including “Rage of Angels”, “The Other Side of Midnight”, “Master of the Game” and “If Tomorrow Comes” that secured his fame.

January 21, 2007 – Teen arrested in Turkish editor killing
ISTANBUL, Turkey – Authorities here have announced that a teenage boy has been arrested and has reportedly confessed to murdering a Turkish-Armenian journalist outside his newspaper office two days ago.

Mr. Ogun Samast was arrested in the Black Sea city of Samsun last night, a day after Mr. Hrant Dink was assassinated in Istanbul on Friday. Police said the boy was captured following a tip from his father after his pictures were broadcast on Turkish television.

Istanbul prosecutor Mr. Aykut Cengiz Engin has also announced that police are currently investigating whether Mr. Samast acted alone. According to local news reports, police have detained six other suspects, including Mr. Yasin Hayal, who was convicted in the bombing of a McDonald's restaurant in the Black Sea city of Trabzon in 2004.

January 19, 2007 – Journalist assassinated in downtown Istanbul
ISTANBUL, Turkey – Mr. Hrant Dink, an editor whose public writings that mass killings of Armenians during and after the first World War constituted Turkish genocide, has been shot dead in broad daylight as he was leaving his newspaper offices. He was 52.

Mr. Dink, who faced legal action against him for his claims, was apparently shot in the head from behind by at least one unidentified assailant. Police were reviewing CCTV footage in the area to determine if the murder or its aftermath had been caught on video.

Under article 301 of Turkey’s penal code, it is a criminal offense to insult Turkey, the government or the country’s national character. Nobel Prize-winning novelist, Mr. Orhan Pamuk, was brought up on criminal charges last year when he wrote that Turks had killed a million Armenians during this period.

January 18, 2007 – Percy Saltzman, Canadian weatherman, dies
TORONTO, ON, Canada – Veteran broadcaster and the first person to appear live on Canadian television, Mr. Percy Saltzman, has died at the age of 91. During his career, Mr. Saltzman broadcast over 2,500 weather reports on radio, more than 5,000 on TV and conducted over 1,000 interviews.

It was during the Second World War when Mr. Saltzman’s journalism career began. Despite the fact he had no formal meteorological training, he began work in the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan, both as a weather forecaster and as an aircrew trainer relating to atmospheric sciences.

After leaving the military, Mr. Saltzman worked for Canada’s public broadcaster, CBC-TV, for 20 years before moving to rival CTV. He also worked at CITY-TV and Global. He received the prestigious Order of Canada award in 2003 and was made a member of the Canadian Broadcast Hall of Fame in 2004.

January 18, 2007 – Columnist Art Buchwald dies at age 81
WASHINGTON, DC, USA – Mr. Art Buchwald, a man who for more than four decades wrote about and poked fun at the Washington political elite has died from kidney disease. He was 81.

After lying about his age, the young Buchwald joined the US Marines at 17, and then went on to attend the University of Southern California. He then moved to Paris where he got a job as a writer, first for Variety and then for the Herald Tribune newspaper, eventually penning a column called Paris After Dark.

In 1962, Mr. Buchwald returned to America, specifically Washington, where he thought his style of writing suited the politics of the town. He was right and his popular column appeared in more than 500 newspapers in the US and abroad during his career peak in the early 1970s. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for commentary in 1982 and he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1986.

Despite his writing and commentary, Mr. Buchwald will perhaps be best remembered for suing Paramount Pictures over a 1988 movie titled “Coming to America.” A judge ruled that the studio had indeed stolen Buchwald’s idea and in 1992 awarded him and a partner $900,000 US. The case also became a notable example of Hollywood accounting practices because Paramount’s lawyers insisted the blockbuster movie had failed to make any “net” profits.

January 8, 2007 – Morocco journalists go on trial
RABAT, Morocco – A magazine editor as well as a reporter have been accused of defaming Islam and “damaging public morality” because of an article written about religious jokes.

On December 20, 2006, government authorities here closed down the weekly magazine Nichane (meaning “Direct” in Moroccan Arabic) and withdrew copies of it from newspaper stands.

Today, it was announced that Mr. Driss Ksikes, the publication’s director, and Mr. Sanaa al-Aji, a staff writer, face up to five years in jail and financial penalties if they are convicted. While both men have reportedly received death threats, they claim the article was written to show what certain religious jokes show about Moroccan society.

January 1, 2007 – Iraq shuts down TV station in Baghdad
BAGHDAD, Iraq – The Iraqi government has announced that it has permanently banned private TV channel Al-Sharkiya from reporting in Baghdad, claiming the station uses its news reports to stir up sectarian violence.

The Dubai-based Al-Sharkiya confirmed the ban in the Iraqi capital. A spokesman said he did not know whether the broadcaster would be able to continue reporting from other parts of the country or if this partial ban meant it would have to pull out altogether.

In November 2006, the government here banned Al-Zawra and Salahedd citing each outlet’s one-sided coverage of the Saddam Hussein trial. Another news outlet, Al-Arabiya, was banned for a month in September. Reporters working for Al-Jazeera have also been banned.

January 1, 2007 – Peruvian photographer abducted in Gaza
GAZA, Palestinian Territories – Gunmen here have kidnapped a Peruvian photographer on assignment for Agence France-Presse (AFP).

AFP has named the photog as Mr. Jaime Razuri. As of yet, a group has not stepped forward to claim responsibility for the kidnapping which reportedly occurred when Mr. Razuri was just outside the AFP’s offices in Gaza City.

The Palestinian Territories are increasingly dangerous for journalists with kidnappings and assaults on the rise. In October 2006, an AP photographer was held for several hours and then released. In August, two reporters from the American broadcaster, Fox News, were abducted. Their captivity lasted two weeks before they were released.

End of the 2007 News page.