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Evening Standard editor Sarah Sands pays tribute to three journalists killed for reporting the news over the last year

By Dominic Ponsford

Evening Standard editor Sarah Sands has paid tribute to journalists around the world who have given their lives to report the news.

She was speaking at the annual service of remembrance for fallen journalists at St Bride’s church on Fleet Street.

Deputy editor of the Sunday Times Sarah Baxter, security editor for ITV News Rohit Kachroo and Telegraph executive director Guy Black also delivered readings.

Sands said: “Anyone who doubts the power of journalism, the good it do, must listen closely to those moving responses we have read or heard from so many people in danger: ‘Thank you for coming. Please tell the world what is happening here.Explain to the world that we need their help.’

“I mentioned the internet earlier. The digital world is brilliant in so many ways. It gives the beleaguered a chance to get out information, to learn what is going on in the world, to communicate with the outside.

“The fact that it is unfiltered is one of its glories – and also one of its dangers. We need the objective view. If we want to know what is going on, told in a way that will make people hear, we need reporters.

“So how fitting that we pay tribute today to journalists whose greatest threat is not from the financial decline of the industry, not from angry social media, not from Lord Leveson, but journalists who face jail or worse. And who keep going back.

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“To take three names as emblems of those who have been killed this year, we think of the Mexican reporter Marcos Hernández Bautista, shot in the head with a 9mm pistol as he climbed into his car outside a bar. He’d reported on local gangsters.

“We think of Mohammed Ghalib al-Majidi, a freelance killed in Yemen, as Houthi rebel forces fought to besiege the city of Taiz.

“And we think of David Gilkey, a National Public Radio reporter killed by a rocket propelled grenade on the first day he spent embedded with the Afghan army in Helmand province. Three journalists, doing their jobs, dying for their jobs.

“We are all – to use a term that has attracted unnecessary abuse – citizens of the world.

“Let us never forget the men and women who work to bring that world to us.”

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