TALA leads campaign to create UK’s first memorial to frontline journalists

Today, on World Press Freedom Day, we’re launching a campaign to establish the UK’s first memorial dedicated to journalists who have lost their lives while reporting from conflict zones, a project that is very close to our hearts.

For over 15 years, our founder Andrew Baud has worked closely with the National Memorial Arboretum, the Nation’s place to Remember those who have served and sacrificed for the country.

In 2009, he received a letter from a member of the public who asked why there wasn’t a memorial to war correspondents at the Arboretum. Having worked with journalists for his whole professional life, and understanding the importance of remembering those who have sacrificed their lives for the greater good, the creation of a memorial to journalists reporting from the frontline has become a personal mission for him.

We’re working closely with our partners at Press Gazette and a group of veteran journalists to create ‘On the Record: The National Memorial to Journalists on the Frontline’. As a permanent place of remembrance, the memorial will highlight the crucial role journalism plays in upholding democracy and human rights to future generations.

Since 2000, 16 UK journalists have been killed in the course of their reporting. In 2023 alone, 128 journalists and media workers were killed worldwide, according to the International Federation of Journalists.

The proposed location for the UK’s first memorial to journalists killed on the frontline is the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire, the Nation’s year-round place to Remember. A sculptor will be commissioned to create a striking, poignant and enduring tribute to honour the dedication and sacrifice of all journalists who have been killed whilst reporting from conflict zones around the world.

‘On The Record’ will provide families, colleagues and friends with a space for reflection and remembrance, and it will also be available to school children, learning groups, special interest organisations, and members of the public who want to deepen their understanding of the challenges faced by reporters in conflict zones and the sacrifices that they routinely make to share stories from the frontline.

In the future, the memorial will be complemented by a digital database containing the stories of fallen UK-based journalists, preserving their legacy, and ensuring their own achievements and experiences are put ‘on the record’ for perpetuity. Families and colleagues will be encouraged to contribute to the online record.

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