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Free the Jailed Journalists: Why Media Men and Women Ought to Be Liberated

Updated on September 16, 2017

Free Minds, Free Media

Using one's mind is not a crime
Using one's mind is not a crime | Source

Printing, Photographing,or Speaking

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), countries around the world including the two with the most, Egypt and China, imprison journalists. What this ought to signal is the assertion and recognition of individual rights. Without the rights respecting nations acknowledging the sovereignty of the individual, such horrific actions will continue to be leveled against journalists. The idea of a writer, photojournalist, editor or other media profession being locked up for doing their jobs is appalling. The freedom of speech acknowledged in the United States of America is not upheld in these countries. To be amongst the worst nations to be in the media shows to the world that such a country ought to adopt the fundamentals of the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution.

To institute the liberties of printing, photographing, or speaking on issues would be the rational option. By elevating the individual to the levels of respect and honor, such nations which impose laws against journalists would be able to boast reverence for men and women of the mind. This would help the dozens of journalists currently behind bars. The irony of the matter is that the charges that have hung over the heads of journalists reflect those that the transgressive officials have allegedly committed.

Journalists have become part of the story yet again
Journalists have become part of the story yet again | Source

Expose, Inform and Elucidate

The atrocious rights denouncing countries who have jailed these journalists ought to have a political revolution. A system conducive to a politically free nation is capitalism. Journalism remains a vital expression of the human mind.

Without the proper philosophy of law and the rule of law, journalists remain at the mercy of whatever tyrant decided to imprison them. And for what? For “colluding with others” and “spreading false information”? Or does the government mean that journalists like Wang Xiaolu had the courage to challenge fraudulent practices within China’s economic structure? In Iran, the journalists who chose to speak up against the despotic state found themselves in prison. The country actually shrank its number of held prisoners to 19, compared to 30 in the previous year. An American-based journalist named Jason Rezaian still inhabits an Iranian prison allegedly for espionage. Under the force of this tyrannical country, Rezaian has reportedly been convicted and sentenced. His particular case represents America’s gravest enemy forbidding a United States citizen from being freed. Every bureaucrat in Washington, DC ought to be campaigning for the swift, safe return of Rezaian and any other press people held in political bondage. To jail the very professionals which represent this field is heinous and reprehensible. The job of a member of the press is to expose, inform, and elucidate the goings on of a particular subject. In this case, the happenings in a given country have been recorded for the readers, listeners, and viewers to consider. Without the freedom to publish their thoughts, journalists who have been jailed in these nations suffer by having their rights violated. For a country like China, which has experienced significant economic freedom, to imprison a considerable amount of press members negates any progress that that country has made in the way of liberty. And the second most offensive nation, Egypt, stands as an awful example of representing individual rights. Newsmen and women must not only focus on the professionalism of their work, but also safeguarding it from corrupt governments.

The freedom of the press is a solemn right
The freedom of the press is a solemn right | Source

Remain Strong

Trumped up charges rank consistently as the worst amongst these nations. By stating that a given journalist has committed crimes regarding drugs or embezzlement or other charges and they really haven’t only underscores the vicious threat that these states pose. To interrupt a journalist who just seeks to collect information and convey that story in a compelling manner, and throw him or her in jail only illustrates the backward practices that these countries employ. The job of a journalist is to expose, elucidate, and possibly enlighten. In order to perform these tasks, they need to be free of all coercion. The capacity to think, to reason, requires for individuals to express their minds. Unhampered by being under the thumb of some tyrant, journalists flourish in the market place. By instituting laws which protect them from the despots who say, “you can’t speak that,” “you can’t write this” or “you can’t photograph that,” they have the opportunity to create and display thought.

In all of the Americas, not a single journalist has been jailed for engaging in reporting despite the many issues which stand in their way within this region. Controls and restrictions on on intellectual property ought to be lifted in every corner of the globe. The acceptance of these rights ought to be implemented to the fullest extent and without delay. Jailed journalists ought to remain strong in their sense of loving life and the mind, despite their conditions. The cause of freedom ought to sustain them and keep them until the day that they experience freedom once again.

What the CPJ has to Offer


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