The tragedy that occurred this past week was not only a solemn reminder of the dangers of unfiltered journalism, but also why it is irreplaceable in modern society. Each and every day in human history, injustices and evils run ramped across the globe. It’s not only in third world countries and low-income areas, either. Greed and power are motives for nefarious activities no matter where you live.
Without the free press, these issues and travesties of justice would swallow the ignorant masses who lack the perspective of harsh, brutally truthful journalists shedding light on even the darkest subjects. Charlie Hebdo embodies all that is necessary about free press in our society. They expose cowards and hypocrites like ISIS no matter the influence; they force you to think about matters politicians and oppressive groups of all kinds want to hide.
After the murders of twelve people from the Charlie Hebdo staff, the publication once again showcased its resilience against intimidation by placing the Prophet Muhammad on the front over of their latest edition. Muhammad holds a sign which reads, “All is forgiven.” World leaders and people from across the globe filled the streets of Paris in an ostentatious show of support this past week. Even politicians who exhibited great hypocrisy, often restricting free press in their own countries, were in attendance. Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, among others, are all perpetrators of violence and mistreatment towards journalists in their own nations. Even they acknowledge the importance of daring and thought provoking journalism, despite being exactly the type of people Charlie Hebdo’s staff would likely ridicule.
(Alex Doe ’16, News Editor)