Is It Safe?

via danmason.co.uk

via danmason.co.uk

I stumbled upon this post in The Guardian last month and it really opened my eyes.

The post discusses a report from the Committee to Protect Journalists, which was released last week that focuses on specific problems on each continent.

I highly recommend a visit to both the post and report. It’ll be worth your time.

Now, I haven’t really thought about working overseas. I know that most places aren’t too dangerous, but there are some that are seriously a problem for any journalist.

At my job now, there isn’t much to worry about. People can complain yes, but I’ve never had my life threatened. People do get upset, but that’s just the nature of the business.

I don’t think I was ever in harms way either. For all I know, I’m missing a huge story that I covered, but I really don’t think I’ve had to worry about going to jail, being kidnapped or anything else that other journalists face on a daily and weekly basis.

Disclaimer: We actually had a little safety measure done on the entire Chronicle building. I can’t say what it was, but everyone was a bit concerned that the building was so easy to get into, but it was a relatively minor fix that everyone thought was necessary.

One of these articles in particular “CPJ Risk List: Where Press Freedom Suffered” is something we should all have to read as journalists.

I’d love to copy it into this post, but I know better. It outlines the top 10 worst countries for journalists and the trends that were seen in 2012. It’s frightening yet fascinating. By fascinating, I mean that I really had no idea that all of this was going on. I didn’t know that things were that bad across the world. We hear about journalists being killed, but maybe the media should make a bigger deal about it, no?

“When journalists are silenced, whether through violence or laws, we all stand to lose because perpetrators are able to obscure misdeeds, silence dissent, and disempower citizens,” said CPJ Deputy Director Robert Mahoney. “The battle to control information is an assault on public accountability that cannot go unchallenged. Governments must prosecute perpetrators and stop those seeking to incapacitate public oversight by blunting critical and probing reporting.”

If I’m missing something here, please let me know, but I am really taken aback by how bad things are. Does this surprise any of you? Of course we have the Iran, Syria and other countries that we know aren’t in good shape as it is. Throw a journalist into the pot and that’s a recipe for serious problems.

Attacks on the Press exposes the aggressive efforts of state and non-state actors to silence journalists, particularly those covering crime, corruption, politics, and conflict,” said Mahoney. “The right to receive and impart information transcends borders, and international and regional bodies have a key role to play in upholding these principles, which are under attack.”

I think I’m going to do another post this weekend on all of this. We all need to really think about this on a global level.

Jonathan

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