Journalists defy dangers because they understand that their role is a necessary check on the ambition and vanity of the rich and powerful. Protecting reporters has never been so necessary
Ten journalists were killed in two attacks in Afghanistan on Monday along with 26 other people who seem to have been collateral damage. All of these deaths were tragedies for everyone who loved the victims. But attacks on journalists, like attacks on doctors or judges, are not just attacks on individuals and their families: they aim to tear the connective tissue of society. Not all journalists are singled out for killing, of course. Those who never attack the powerful or do not put themselves in harm’s way are unlikely to be victims.
Yet neither is it necessary to display the extraordinary determination of the Maltese investigative reporter Daphne Caruana Galizia, killed in a car bomb near her home last year, in order to be at risk. Often it is enough to be doing the unglamorous work of reporting what happens in plain sight, to ensure that no one turns away from what should be in front of their noses. There are times and places when the simple truth is in itself a provocation to thugs and criminals. In Afghanistan, as in Pakistan, in Mexico, and above all in Syria, journalists are killed simply for recording the atrocities around them.
Link : The Guardian view on press freedom: a connective tissue of society | Editorial