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Slain reporters' names memorialized

By David Briscoe
Associated Press Writer
Wednesday, May 5, 1999; 5:13 p.m. EDT

ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) -- The names of 29 journalists were added Wednesday to a memorial honoring members of the media killed while covering world events.

In a ceremony that mixed honors for slain journalists with warnings for an increasingly dangerous profession, the Freedom Forum rededicated a shimmering glass and aluminum monument that already contains more than 1,000 names. They date back to 1812.

The honored journalists include reporters, editors, photographers and broadcasters who lost their lives while reporting the news last year.

Circumstances of their deaths varied widely. Mahmoud Saremi, the Afghanistan bureau chief for Iran's official news agency, was executed by the Taliban militia in Afghanistan. Hope Bartlett, a 23-year-old Florida TV reporter, was thrown overboard from a boat and drowned after removing her lifejacket to tape a segment for a story.

Family members of slain journalists were among those at the service.

Mimi Gosney, of Lexington, Ky., showed her son David the name of his grandfather, Joe Morton, an Associated Press war correspondent killed in Austria in 1945. Others pointed to the names of colleagues and friends.

The Freedom Forum Journalists Memorial stands amid tall buildings across the Potomac from Washington. The Freedom Forum, which studies media issues, dedicated the monument in 1996 and has since added 95 names as more journalists died.

Author and journalist Kati Marton told the crowd: ``In our celebrity-drenched age, where journalists often think they're bigger than the stories they cover, these 29 reporters stand out as permanent reminders of our beloved profession's old values.''

She criticized ``the last few years of obsessive preoccupation ... with stories of celebrity mayhem and sex scandals in high places.'' With the Kosovo crisis, she said, ``The world has once again reminded us that it is much too dangerous a place to turn news into entertainment.''

New names on the monument, their news organizations and countries where they were killed:

Okezie Amaruben, Newsservice, Nigeria.

Raynaldo Bancairin, DXLL, The Philippines.

Hope Bartlett, WJXX-TV, Florida.

Fabien Fortune Bitoumbo, Radio Liberte, Congo.

Nelson Carvajal, Radio Sur, Colombia.

Georgy Chanya, Resonants, Georgia.

Bernabe Cortes, Telepacifico, Colombia.

Knut Andre Danielsen, TV2, Iraq.

Oscar Garcia Calderon, El Espectador, Colombia.

Luis Mario Garcia Rodriguez, La Tarde, Mexico.

Abay Hailu, Agiere, Ethiopia.

Tara Singh Hayer, Indo-Canadian Times, Canada.

Amparo Jimenez Pallares, Canal A, Colombia.

Jose Carlos Mesquita, TV Ouro Verde, Brazil.

Mohammad Mokhtari, free-lance, Iran.

Saiful Alam Mukul, Runner, Bangladesh.

Tunde Oladepo, The Guardian, Nigeria.

Manoel Leal de Oliveira, A Ragiao, Brazil.

Herman Potgieter, free-lance, Kenya.

Simao Roberto, Jornal de Angola, Angola.

Derek Rodney, The Star, Kenya.

Mahmoud Saremi, Islamic Republic News Agency, Afghanistan.

Anton M. J. Scheepers, Aqua Vision, Kenya.

Philip True, San Antonio Express-News, Mexico.

Edward Smith, BBC, Sierra Leone.

Sayomchai Vijitwittayapong, Matichon, Thailand.

Larisa Vudina, Sovietskaya Kalmykia Segodnya, Russia.

Patrick Wagner, free-lance, Kenya.

Norbert Zongo, L'Independent, Burkina Faso.


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