UK foreign secretary condemns attack on BBC cameraman at Trump rally

A BBC cameraman was attacked by a man wearing a "Make America Great Again" hat as he was working at a rally held by President Trump in El Paso, Texas on Monday. (Reuters)
Updated 13 February 2019
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UK foreign secretary condemns attack on BBC cameraman at Trump rally

  • Trump has frequently attacked the news media for what he views as unfair coverage, decrying some outlets as peddlers of “fake news” and “enemy of the people”

LONDON: British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt on Tuesday condemned an attack on a BBC cameraman by a supporter of US President Donald Trump at a campaign rally in El Paso, Texas.
Asked on Tuesday by Sky News whether it was acceptable for Trump to whip up his fans to the point that a cameraman was attacked, Hunt said: “It is never acceptable when journalists and cameramen are attacked just for doing their job.”
Wearing a “Make America Great Again” cap, a man was seen shoving BBC cameraman Ron Skeans before being pulled away on Monday, according to a BBC video.
Trump has frequently attacked the news media for what he views as unfair coverage, decrying some outlets as peddlers of “fake news” and “enemy of the people.”
News outlets have pushed back, with New York Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger joining others in saying that Trump’s language has increased the prospect of journalists facing violence, both in the United States and abroad.
“There is a broader issue here which is that last year 80 journalists were killed across the world just for doing their job,” Hunt said. “We are very worried about this.”
The White House News Photographers Association condemned the attack and said the White House, the Secret Service and local law enforcement should do more to protect journalists at Trump events. Skeans is a member of the association.
“Furthermore, given that the president’s rhetoric about journalists is too often false and derogatory, we ask that he refrain from unnecessarily targeting journalists with his speech since such rhetoric may be inciting violent acts such as this one,” the group said in a statement.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said in a statement that Trump “condemns all acts of violence against any individual or group of people — including members of the press. We ask that anyone attending an event do so in a peaceful and respectful manner.”
The BBC reported that the Trump supporter pushed Skeans and cursed at him during the rally. It published video of the encounter that ends with the supporter being restrained and moved away from the media area.
“Are you alright?” Trump asked after seeing the encounter, giving a thumbs up to the cameraman. “Everything OK?“
The BBC said it wrote a letter to the White House asking for a “review of security arrangements” for media covering Trump’s rallies. Skeans suffered no lasting harm, the BBC said.
The Committee to Protect Journalists also criticized Trump. “It’s outrageous that a journalist was attacked while covering a presidential speech,” Alexandra Ellerbeck, the nonprofit organization’s North America program coordinator, said in a statement. “We call on President Trump to moderate his rhetoric against the press and to state clearly that physically attacking media personnel is not acceptable.”


Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry inaugurates Arab News Pakistan bureau

Updated 16 February 2019
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Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry inaugurates Arab News Pakistan bureau

  • New office will be hub for Asian operation of paper and builds on relationship with community and its digital generation
  • Arab News launched its online Pakistan edition www.arabnews.pk in February last year as part of its global digital expansion plans

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Minister of Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry has officially inaugurated Arab News Pakistan bureau in the country’s capital.

Chaudhry was the chief guest at the occasion and several prominent Pakistani media personalities and Arab News staff also attended the launch ceremony.

Standing side by side with Arab News Editor-in-Chief Faisal J. Abbas, who is in Pakistan as part of the media delegation accompanying the royal visit by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and Arab News Asia Bureau Chief Baker Atyani, Chaudhry cut a ceremonial ribbon to open the office.

“I am very happy for two reasons: The perception was building that the newspapers were not coming (to Pakistan), so once an international publication like Arab News (has come here) it certainly gives us a huge boost.”

Chaudhry described how the relationship between the nations was becoming stronger, particularly with the growth of Pakistan’s voice in the Middle East.

‘Secondly, I think this is an era where Pakistan is playing a very important role in the Middle East and to have such a major Middle Eastern publication coming to Pakistan itself shows the kind of importance Pakistan has of the Middle East and vice versa, we are very happy to have you here.’

Editor-in-Chief Faisal J. Abbas thanked the Pakistani information minister for his presence at the inauguration and for the efforts of the Information and Broadcasting Ministry to help facilitate the newspaper’s operations in Islamabad. 

“The inauguration of our Islamabad bureau a year after the launch of our local digital edition is an indicator of our commitment to Pakistan and our determination to help create a better understanding of Saudi Arabia and the region,” said Abbas. 

“Ever since its establishment in 1975, Arab News has had a special relationship with the massive and incredibly loyal Pakistani community in Saudi Arabia. Today we inaugurate this bureau in Islamabad to ensure a continued connection with the community and establish a relationship with a new more digital and highly connected generation,” he added. 

Asia Bureau Chief Baker Atyani said that the new office would be a hub not only for the Arab News Pakistan edition but also for the entire Asian operation of the paper. “We currently have reporters across Pakistan as well as nine other Asian countries and with the help, hard work and dedication of our team at the Islamabad bureau we hope not only to better manage our operation but to grow further in Asia as well.” 

Arab News launched its online Pakistan edition www.arabnews.pk in February last year as part of its global digital expansion plans. The project is the first of many new international editions planned by the Riyadh-based newspaper. 

Arab News is part of the regional publishing giant Saudi Research and Marketing Group (SRMG).