Like in all areas of life, when rules are broken, consequences are given. For journalists, this is often a wide publish backlash and constant scrutiny from the people, or even the termination of a paper branch. This response, while annoying and sometimes costly is taken and understood as just another part of the life of a journalist.
However, the world watched in horror this past Wednesday as a trio of terrorists attacked French satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo, killing 12. This crime marks a horrific climax in journalists’ battle to obtain freedom of speech, as it is assumed that the attacks were preformed due to the papers publication of cartoons, which offended their Muslim radicalism.
This ambush, the deadliest French terrorism attack since 1961, marks a change for the lives of journalist’s worldwide, that freedom of speech is something worth dying for. The men and women of Charlie Hebdo understood the dangers of printing something anti-religious, yet did it anyways.
In 2011, they printed a character of the prophet Muhammed, and were fire bombed. Therefore, they knew the dangers heading into this publication and did it anyways, meaning they were literally willing to die for their freedom to speak.
Journalists should be finished walking on eggshells when writing an article; instead, we should be able to print what we want because it is our right to do so.
In effort to spread awareness, people have taken to social media, posting the phrase “Je Suis Charlie” (I am Charlie), showing how everyone in the free world is affected by this horrible deed.
I urge you, as readers, to show your support, take to the powerful streams of social media and let your voice be heard- because neither you, nor any person, should have to worry for their life for doing so.