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122 Journalists around the World lost their lives to targeted Killings, Natural Disasters and Accidents

IFJ is an international federation of Journalists’ trade unions which represents more than 6,00,000 journalists from 140 countries

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January 1, 2017:  2016 was a tough year for journalists around the globe. Around 122 journalists and media professionals lost their lives to targeted killings or in natural disasters and accidents. India witnessed the death of 5 scribes and was in the eighth position on a list, which was topped by Iraq.

According to the annual report of International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), countries like Africa, Middle Ease and Arab World regions, Asia Pacific, Europe and the America witnessed targeted killings including murders, crossfire incidents and bomb attacks.

The IFJ said that Iraq has the highest number of media killings. With 15 targeted killings, it is ahead of Afghanistan and Mexico with 13 and 11 killings respectively. Next on the list is Yemen with 8, Guatemala and Syria with 6, India and Pakistan with 5 killings. India, Pakistan, Yemen and Syria saw no or little change in the number of targeted killings from 2015, mentioned PTI.

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According to the statistics published by the largest global federation of Journalists’ trade unions, in addition to 93 targeted killings, 20 Brazilian sports journalists died in a plane crash in Medellin, Colombia.

Although the number of targeted killings of journalists in 2016 was less from the previous years’, the IFJ warned against reports of rising threats, intimidation and self-censorship. These acts attack freedom of expression, mentioned PTI.

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According to the report, in India, Bureau Chief of Jan Sandesh Times, Tarun Mishra, died on 14th February. Bureau Chief of Dainik Hindustan, Rajdeo Ranjan, on 13th May; Journalist with TaazaTV, Indradev Yadav died on 16th May; Bureau Chief of Jai Hind, Kishore Dave on 22nd August and Correspondent of Dainik Bhaskar, Dharmendra Singh, on 12th November. India has 6 reports of targeted killings of media professionals in 2015 including journalists from Hindi daily Dainik Jagaran and news channel Aaj Tak.

According to PTI, IFJ President Philippe Leruth said, “Any decrease in violence against journalists and media staff is always welcome but these statistics and the continued deliberate targeting of media workers in many incidents causing loss of life give little room for comfort nor ground for hope to see the end of the current media safety crisis.”

IFJ has recorded at least 2,297 killings of journalists in cross-fire incidents, bomb attacks and targeted assassinations till 2015.

Prepared by Diksha Arya of NewsGram. Twitter: @diksha_arya53

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Google Announces ‘Journalism AI’ Project

According to Google, in Asia-Pacific, journalists and publishers are increasingly grappling with questions over how quality journalism can thrive in the digital age

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A Google logo is seen at the company's headquarters in Mountain View, California, VOA

To help news industry use Artificial Intelligence (AI) in more innovative ways, Google has announced a partnership with Polis, the international journalism think-tank at London School of Economics and Political Science, to create “Journalism AI”.

Part of the Google News Initiative (GNI), the “Journalism AI” project will focus on research and training for newsrooms on the intersection of AI and journalism.

“As part of ‘Journalism AI’, next year, we’ll publish a global survey about how the media is currently using — and could further benefit from — this technology,” Google said in a statement on Friday as it organised GNI Innovation Forum here.

“We’ll also collaborate with newsrooms and academic institutions to create a best practices handbook and produce free online training on how to use AI in the newsroom for journalists worldwide,” informed Matt Cooke, Head of Partnerships and Training, Google News Lab.

After testing with partners over the last two years, Google also introduced a new tool called Google Earth Studio which is an animation tool for Google Earth’s satellite and 3D imagery.

The tool empowers graphics specialists with new ways to leverage Google Earth imagery for storytelling.

“We’re inviting newsrooms around the world to start using the product for the first time,” said Google.

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Google on a smartphone device. Pixabay

According to the company, it has provided free training to journalists on a range of tools reaching more than 140,000 people in-person.

“Our training on Google tools for journalists are now available in 16 languages — including Indonesian Bahasa, Thai and Turkish,” said Cooke.

Google News in November launched a new innovation challenge to help scribes and publishers in the Asia-Pacific region produce quality journalism in the digital age.

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The Asia-Pacific Google News Initiative (GNI) Innovation Challenge will fund selected projects up to $300,000 and finance up to 70 per cent of the total project cost, that inject new ideas into the news industry.

According to Google, in Asia-Pacific, journalists and publishers are increasingly grappling with questions over how quality journalism can thrive in the digital age.

“From Yangon to Manila, Sydney to New Delhi, they are experimenting with fresh approaches to reporting and new business models,” said the company. (IANS)