Around the world, journalists are threatened, stymied and murdered. Why? To cover up egregious wrongdoing. The last thing any oppressive government or mafioso type wants is an informed and angry public.
The number of journalists murdered for their work in Mexico is only surpassed in war-torn Iraq and Syria. Israeli snipers have killed Palestinian reporters covering protests. Turkey’s dictator has arrested hundreds of correspondents merely for being critical — or Kurdish.
In the USA, the shooter at the Capital Gazette thought he had the right to kill because the newspaper had reported on his guilt in a stalking case some years ago. He apparently was not politically motivated.
But a reactionary president’s rabid hostility to freedom of the press has created a climate encouraging anti-media violence. And the main assaults by Trump and his thuggish fans are political.
A Huffington Post writer has gotten death threats for identifying the person behind an Islamophobic, anti-immigrant Twitter account. And 90 percent of police arrests of U.S. journalists — largely freelance — take place at rallies for left or progressive causes.
An independent press, especially when despotism flourishes, is crucial. We salute the many courageous journalists who remain unbought and unbowed!