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Remembrance

Richard Sambrook | 13:25 UK time, Monday, 16 June 2008

The events of last week show us the courage and bravery of many journalists. Outside Bush House, and across the BBC, we paid our respects to our two colleagues who were killed in Afghanistan and Somalia in the space of just two days. This was terrible news for so many of us, but it reminds us of so many others who have also given their lives in seeking and telling the truth to audiences around the world.

Memorial at BBC Broadcasting HouseToday, 16 June 2008, sees an iconic new sculpture about to light up London's night skyline. The BBC will be unveiling a major work by Jaume Plensa - Breathing - an exciting and innovative light sculpture on the top of the new wing of Broadcasting House, dedicated to the memory of journalists around the world who have lost their lives.

Attacks on journalists and others working in news continue to increase, with more than 1,000 killed in the past 10 years. In 2006, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 1738, which condemned acts of violence, including deliberate attacks, in many parts of the world against journalists, media professionals and associated personnel in armed conflicts, and called on all parties to put an end to such practices.

The BBC, as the world's leading public service news broadcaster, is strongly committed to the safety of journalists. We recognise the Resolution and today's inauguration of the light sculpture is our recognition of the lives of so many killed. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General of the United Nations, will be unveiling the sculpture tonight.

You can find out more on the memorial website.

Abdul Samad Rohani and Nasteh Dahir FaraahAs we remember once again Abdul Samad Rohani and Nasteh Dahir Faraah, please join me in thinking about those who have died and all the journalists who today are working in some of the most dangerous places in the world to tell the story to the world.

UPDATE, 17 JUNE 12:11PM:
Watch the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon journalists unveil the memorial to journalists.

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Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    What a wonderful thoughtful memorial.

  • Comment number 2.

    What are beautiful ceremony...And a beautiful statue...

  • Comment number 3.

    It is nice to have monuments for remembrance of their brave actions to bring the true and situation to us.

    However, there must also be action to bring justise for them. For those killed by terrorist, we can only report the truth and get international help to persecute the terrorist. What about those killed by legal governments. Remember the bombing of TV station, recent killing in gaza. What is done for them?

    What about those reporters being jailed by governments around the world? More should be done to secure their release.

    What about governments that do not allow free press? More should be done to pressure them to open up. Not only China, even Singapore do not allow free press.

  • Comment number 4.

    How can something new be iconic? Have words completely lost their meaning?

  • Comment number 5.

    `How can something new be iconic? Have words completely lost their meaning?` gerardmulholland

    Possibly because an icon is something that is designed to or comes to represent something else; it’s being ascribed symbolic meaning beyond the actual object represented. (Icon derives from the Greek eikon or image.)

    I think that the term iconic is often overused nowadays and ascribed to something simply because it is distinctive or becomes well known.

    I don’t agree that something has to be old to be considered iconic. Following that line of thought, how many years must pass before something can be considered iconic?

  • Comment number 6.

    What an extraordinary landmark. It works on so many levels - a reminder, a memorial, shared values, encouragement to those in the field and their families, and a wonder.

    A fitting tribute to those who have died and a way of expressing appreciation for all journalists.

    Thank you.

  • Comment number 7.

    This is a sad indictment on the BBC, especially in these days of concern about energy wastage, climate change and global warming.

    How much did this folly cost?

    Wouldn't it have been a better memorial to the deceased journalists to have set up a foundation or trust fund to provide for their dependants and children, and to provide for the families of those who may be killed or injured in the future?

    Many of the deceased journalists would have come from third world countries and been on meagre salaries. They would have been environmentally aware and would not have liked to have seen money wasted in this way.

    If I had lost a relative killed in the line of duty I certainly would not be happy about this.

  • Comment number 8.

    So, the BBC are commemorating journalists being killed... by killing all the unfortunate birds that happen to be disorientated by the light pollution their new sculpture creates.

    Instead of putting a memorial at ground level where everyone can see it for quiet reflection, the BBC is just shining (yet-another) floodlight into the sky. Talk about cheap.

    How utterly disappointing.

    Can we have a quality, non-destructive memorial instead, please? And does anyone care about the environment at all?

  • Comment number 9.

    My mother died of cancer in April and there is an illuminated night time memorial above where she is buried in Cumbria. It is also known as the night sky - it is very beautiful and uses no energy whatsoever .


    Journalists do an important job especially when they are also mistreated in this country such as what happened in the David Kelly affair. However, I think something more environmentally friendly would have been more appropriate.

  • Comment number 10.

    This is a sad indictment on the BBC, especially in these days of concern about energy wastage, climate change and global warming.

    This folly cost over eight hundred thousand pounds of our license fee money, and it is not the only crass art project in which it has been involved.

    Wouldn't it have been a better memorial to the deceased journalists to have set up a foundation or trust fund to provide for their dependants and children, and to provide for the families of those who may be killed or injured in the future?

    Many of the deceased journalists would have come from third world countries and been on meagre salaries. They would have been environmentally aware and would not have liked to have seen money wasted in this way.

    If I had lost a relative killed in the line of duty I certainly would not be happy about this.

  • Comment number 11.

    This is a sad indictment on the BBC, especially in these days of concern about energy wastage, climate change and global warming.

    This folly cost eight hundred thousand and ninety-seven pounds of our license fee money, and it is not the only crass art project in which it has been involved.

    Wouldn't it have been a better memorial to the deceased journalists to have set up a foundation or trust fund to provide for their dependants and children, and to provide for the families of those who may be killed or injured in the future?

    Many of the deceased journalists would have come from third world countries and been on meagre salaries. They would have been environmentally aware and would not have liked to have seen money wasted in this way.

    If I had lost a relative killed in the line of duty I certainly would not be happy about this.

 

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