Media leaders urge tougher protection for journalists

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World media executives are urging governments to stop looking at journalists as the enemy, and to better protect reporters covering wars, crime and corruption.

Describing growing impunity for those who arrest or attack journalists, news leaders meeting Friday in Paris argued for more public outcry and pressure on governments when a reporter is targeted.

Freelancers are under extra risk, they warned, especially local reporters in countries where journalists have little recourse against violence or government pressure.

"Whether by murder, violence, arrest or intimidation, the crimes taking place against journalists have become far too common. In fact, they've become normalized," John Daniszewski, vice president of international news at The Associated Press, said at a conference on journalist safety at the headquarters of UNESCO, the U.N. cultural agency.