INTERNATIONAL DAY TO END IMPUNITY FOR CRIMES AGAINST JOURNALISTS
Journalism is one of the world's riskiest professions. About 63 journalists have so far lost their lives this year alone. I know the image that most of us have in mind when we hear journalism is the person reporting to us live from "I don't know where" and speaking eloquently, and then signing off saying their name and location at the end of the story. Well, we often forget the behind that camera, along with his technical team, the person who writes the newspaper article, the one who interviews, and investigates the stories. Journalism is comprised of all of these elements.
As I previously stated, journalism is a dangerous profession in which many people have lost their lives while gathering and reporting information, particularly those sent to hostile or war-torn areas.
Those that survive are sometimes psychologically tortured from the incidents they witnessed while doing their work; those that happened to be covering a story when they saw a mother and her child being beheaded or when they were captured and tortured because they were investigating a case....then there's one that watched a grenade blast off one of his limbs and left him with only one thereafter. These are only a few of what journalists go through.
Some of the information these journalists are able to obtain is highly sensitive and classified and for that reason they are purposefully harmed and their families threatened so that it does not meet the eye of the public.
It is absurd that some of these experiences continue to haunt them for the majority of their working lives and that no one is held accountable.
We constantly ululate "freedom of speech and expression" right? And correct me if am wrong but is it not in every country's constitution? So then can we conclude that we are pragmatically no where?
Anyway, am not here to start a motion but to raise an awareness about why this day is commemorated. This day was designated to condemn all attacks against journalists and other media workers.
The legislatory and judicial bodies of our respective nations have a mega duty of ensuring that crimes committed against journalists and media workers are investigated and dealt with lawfully. The government, civil societies and all concerned parties need to be at the frontline of this.
These perpetrators need to be brought to justice and the authorities need to respect the nature of work of jounalists and render them as much protection as possible.
We have young ones growing up and wishing they could report like "Aaaaaaggness Nandutu" but then if these crimes keep happening and go unpunished, their hopes and dreams are crushed.