Today (May 3rd) is World Press Freedom Day, which celebrates the fundamental principles of press freedom. This year’s theme is ‘Critical Minds for Critical Times: Media’s role in advancing peaceful, just and inclusive societies’.
This fundamental right is not enjoyed by those who are forced to live under Daesh rule – where civilians are whipped for owning mobile phones and internet cafes are regularly raided and shut down, thus denying civilians access to any non-Daesh media. Daesh also attempts to manipulate the global media through their propaganda arm – A’maq News Agency – which portrays itself as an independent news organisation that reports on their military activity across the world, yet it rarely mentions Daesh losses.
It is thanks to the courageous journalism of many that we have been able to follow the fight against Daesh each day. Yet exposing the grim realities of life under Daesh or reporting on the frontlines of Mosul is not without personal danger and today, we also pay tribute to those brave correspondents who have been killed in connection with their work. The Iraqi Observatory for Press Freedoms has confirmed that 21 journalists have been killed in Iraq this year. This is triple the number killed in Iraq during 2016 as reported by Reporters Without Borders and two more than in Syria.
In recognition of World Press Freedom Day, below are some examples of the courageous frontline reporting in the fight against Daesh. If you have spotted any other such articles which have been moving or revelatory for you, please let us know by tweeting us @coalition, so we can update this list.
- Mothers of ISIS by Julia Ioffe and Emily Kassie for Huffington Post’s Highline (12 August 2015).
- Inside the field hospitals for soldiers wounded fighting ISIS; Ben Taub and Andrea DiCenzo for The New Yorker (3 May 2016).
- Exporting Terror: ISIS Defector Reveals Secrets by Andrew Glazer, Rukmini Callimachi and Ben Laffin (3 August 2016).
- The real faces of ISIS: Sally Armstrong reports from Iraq by Sally Armstrong for Maclean’s (11 August 2016).
- Present at the Creation by Harold Doornbos and Jenan Moussa for Foreign Policy (16 August 2016).
- ISIS Sent Four Car Bombs. The Last One Hit Me by Bryan Denton for The New York Times (26 October 2016).
- After ISIS: the families returning home in Iraq by Sally Williams for The Guardian (3 December 2016).
- The battle for Mosul: ‘I have never seen such hard fighting like this; Ghaith Abdul-Ahad for the Guardian (31 January 2017).
- Hunting ISIS by Ghaith Abdul-Ahad for PBS Frontline (31 January 2017).
- The Canadian medics embedded in the fight against ISIS by Adnan R. Khan for Maclean’s (12 March 2017).
- Return to Mosul: hell and humanity in the shadow of ISIS by Arwa Damon, Brice Lainé, Hamdi Alkhshali and Tim Lister for CNN (March 2017).
- How Two Mississippi College Students Fell in Love and Decided to Join a Terrorist Group by Emma Green for The Atlantic (1 May 2017).
- The Caliphate is a Reality by Birgit Svensson for Qantara (12 June 2016)
- The “Islamic State” Organisation: the rise, impact and future by Dr. Fatimah al Samadi, for al Jazeera Center for Studies (19 April 2015) (Arabic Link)
Article Image credit – Bryan Denton for the New York Times, featured in article ISIS Sent Four Car Bombs, The Last One Hit Me