Some journalists risk their lives to report on wars, disasters and other dangerous situations. Some others directly get killed for that. And the questions that lie unanswered are: Do politicians support them? Do they make sure they can keep reporting? Should they do it?
According to official reports, 80 journalists have been killed this 2018. Jamal Khashoggi, the Saudi-Arabian journalist who criticized his country, got killed by the royal Saudi-Arabian family on their countries embassy in Istambul, Turkey. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s president, used that as a tool to critique Saudi Arabia, but he’s the first one practicing free speech repression.
Actually, 68 journalists are incarcerated in Turkey. His country is one of the least safe countries to be a journalist.
Donald Trump constantly calls The New York Times, CNN and more “fake news”.
As far as I am concerned, politicians do not protect journalists when they -politicians- have something to hide. The first amendment states about freedom of expression as a universal right, and it is also a democracy enforcer. The more people get to know, the better it is for their decision-making process.
War correspondents get to talk about what is happening in a conflict situation that if it didn’t have them there covering the information, it would pass unnoticed. Oriana Fallaci used to say being a journalist is a privilege because you get to see history while it’s happening. That’s true, but it shouldn’t also mean that you’re putting yourself at risk.
This year, Time magazine gave their “person of the year” award to all the journalists kidnapped, hijacked, killed so far, to the “Guardians of the truth”, as they called them. All the journalists that had the courage enough to talk about topics some would rather keep silenced. Awarding the job of journalists is great, but an award does not bring Jamal Khashoggi back to life. Journalists should not only not be attacked by politicians, but protected by them.
After all, it’s the quality of our democracy and our life that’s at stake.