Et stort flertall av nederlandske journalister sier det er visse områder de unngår for ikke å havne i bråk eller bli truet. Det viser en undersøkelse som kriminologen Frank Bovenkerk har gjort for det nederlandske journalistforbundet.

THE HAGUE, 25/04/09 – A large majority of Dutch journalists say that they no longer work in certain neighbourhoods because they fear they will be targets for violence, shows a survey held on behalf of journalists’ union NVJ.

NVJ asked criminologist Frank Bovenkerk to examine the nature and scale of aggression against journalists on the streets. Of the 691 journalists who filled in Bovenkerk’s questionnaire, 492 said they now avoided certain neighbourhoods when doing their work, the NVJ disclosed on Friday.

At some time in their career, 374 of the 691 journalists had been confronted with physical aggression or threats. Those working for regional media were most often the victims of violence, in particular cameramen and photographers.

A total of 75 journalists reported damage to their equipment or vehicles. There were 36 who reported physical assault, leading to hospital admission in 6 cases.

Strikingly, the NVJ itself seems to play down the results. It did not wish in its press release to conclude that aggression against journalists has increased, but only that there is a «feeling» that this has increased.

The press release makes no mention at all of violence by young Moroccans, although this was the reason for carrying out the survey. The NVJ does say, though that «many journalists and photographers remarked that they were hampered the most by the police, who often seem unimpressed by press cards.»

Bovenkerk will present his full report on 3 May, World Press Freedom Day. «He will also discuss whether the freedom of the press in the Netherlands is at risk,» said the NVJ, which refuses to draw this conclusion itself.

Vast Majority of Journalists Avoid «Certain Districts»