There are probably thousands of journalists at work today who are no less courageous than the fallen. Courage is not a quality we can assign only to those who have not survived their pursuit of a story.
TWO PERIODICALS were running my articles about Shiva Sena and its chief with some reference to Emergency when IBN7 office was ransacked. The moment these attacks took place, those articles were removed from the sites. I can understand that. I am glad that IBN’s journalists not only survived the heinous attack but they caught the goondas. As a member of journalistic community I know we have a long way to go. We have to pay the price to protect our freedoms.
There is an unending list of journalists who had sacrificed their lives in normal democracies, banana democracies and the world’s most murderous countries as well. Examples of unstoppable courage are not uncommon. In Latin America, South Asia, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East, many murdered journalists foresaw what awaited them.
There are probably thousands of journalists at work today who are no less courageous than the fallen. Courage is not a quality we can assign only to those who have not survived their pursuit of a story. They are living examples of the values for which their colleagues have died. They awake each morning knowing that at any moment they too could be killed for holding the powerful and corrupt accountable.
They go to work each morning with the conviction that the calling of journalism is to defend the defenseless. The men and women they investigated believed in the opposite principle: that the weak offered opportunities for the enrichment of the powerful. These predators dominate the societies in which the journalists live. I think anyone can identify with the deadly risks the journalists took if one recognizes that they are standing against the might of tyrants.
They did not arrive from somewhere else to seek adventure in their corrupt and violent lands. We should think of those the next time we hear about journalists who have been murdered in faraway places. They have followed in the footsteps of colleagues who pressed on, knowing the fate that awaited them. They refused to bow to threats, wrote their last expose, and would have written their next had not the expected assassin arrived to stop them.