Jeremy Bliss, the cousin of a journalist killed in a targeted attack in South Sudan two years ago, urged fellow members of the media to help end the violence against reporters.
Christopher Allen was a British-American journalist killed when embedded with the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition in August 2017.
He was only 26 and a promising young freelance war reporter. He was one of the first journalists at the site of the shooting down of MH-17.
Christopher was unarmed and only carrying a camera on the day of his killing.
Opening the day of conference sessions, Bliss urged journalists across the media to sustain an interest in Christopher’s case.
He said: “Media organisations have the capacity to guide this fight to end impunity – not least of all by pressuring governments to act in cases like this.”
Christopher was one of at least 968 journalists who, according to Reporters Without Borders, have been killed globally over the past 10 years.
Bliss continued: “When we campaign for justice for Chris, we are campaigning for all those he represents: those killed with impunity during South Sudan’s ongoing civil war, the intrepid war reporters, and the courageous freelancers who make up an increasing number of those reporting from conflict zones.
“The continued decline in these freedoms for journalists is an affront to our societies.”
Cases like this represent the dire state of global media freedom, he said.
“Here in the UK, we have the capacity to act. I am asking you to do so, to help our campaign for justice for Chris, and to ensure an end to impunity for the killings of journalists and better protection for them everywhere.”
Jeremy Bliss spoke as a keynote speaker at the Society of Editors conference on November 12.
The speech in full can be downloaded here.