The year 2007 was not the best year for South Asian journalists. As we reported earlier, this was in fact the bloodiest year in South Asian history.
In his analysis, "Amid South Asian Conflict, Remarkable Resilience," CPJ's Asia Program coordinator Bob Deitz says that despite increased violence upon press in countries like Pakistan and Sri Lanka, news media are far from being daunted - instead they have done a remarkable job.
"The changes can be rapid, depending on leaders’ ambitions, the state of the economy, or a worsening security situation. But the media’s persistence, resourcefulness, and cohesion have often formed a bulwark against attacks.
"Failed governments have come and gone. Their executives, legislatures, and judiciaries are easily and regularly corrupted, but South Asian journalists have persevered to uphold a higher ideal."
From the analysis, which is part of CPJ's Attacks on the Press in 2007:
Traffic is sparse during a late-night run to the Bandaranaike International Airport north of the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo. Because of insecurity caused by war between the Sinhalese-dominated government and Tamil separatists in the country’s north and east, the streets are given over to police and army checkpoints. On this September night, the air still foggy from the day’s monsoon, reporter Iqbal Athas rides in a rental car, on his way to catch a Thai Airways flight that would take him to Bangkok. An award-winning defense columnist for the English-language Sunday Times, Athas is leaving the country for his own safety: His recent reports on arms sales irregularities have drawn threats, harassment, and, on one occasion, an unruly mob of protestors outside his home. “The harassment and threats have come and gone in the past,” Athas says, “and I have to assume they will again.” He would return to Colombo in less than two weeks.
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Earlier on SAJAforum: