Dreadful events, sadly becoming more common, can have a lasting effect on public opinion. Even as tough as they are believed to be, reporters and editors are not immune. The 2015 attack on the Charlie Hebdo Paris office scarred French journalism. There have been others. There is no fortress.
Measuring media freedom is a subjective art. Freedom for one represses another, say critics. Indisputable, though, is death. Where media workers die for their work, mysteriously ordered, we learn that freedom isn’t free.
Those of us living in societies where freedom of the press is a given can easily forget in just how many places in the world such freedoms are still being fought for daily with lives, imprisonment and intimidation. The latest report from WAN-IFRA says that so far this year 56 journalists have been killed, catching up on the 99 killed last year, more than 100 journalists are imprisoned either with no charges or trials or via sham trials with hundreds more forced into exile, and intimidation is on the rise.