National Press Club

National Press Club Deplores Killing of Journalists

November 14, 2008

WASHINGTON – National Press Club President Sylvia Smith issued a statement on Friday on the news that three journalists have died violent deaths in recent days.

“The National Press Club deplores the slaying of journalists killed in the pursuit of a story,” she said.

"We must stand firmly against violence that would seek to inhibit a free press.”

Armando Rodriguez, a crime reporter for the Mexican newspaper El Diario de Juarez, was shot Nov. 11 as he prepared to take his daughter to school.

The National Association of Hispanic Journalists said the killing was "part of the growing wave of terror by those who wish to silence the truth."

Reporters Without Borders urged Pakistani authorities to investigate why journalist Qari Muhammad Shoaib was shot and killed in his car by the military earlier in November. The military said Shoaib ignored their orders to stop, but Reporters Without Borders said other journalists said the shots were fired deliberately.

Abdul Aziz of the newspaper Azadi was killed in a Pakistani bombing in August after being kidnapped by the Taliban.

"These are human tragedies," Smith said, "but they also are a threat to journalists everywhere."

The National Press Club is the world's leading professional organization for journalists and is an advocate for a free press and First Amendment principles. Founded in 1908, the Club has more than 3,500 members worldwide representing most major news organizations.