The Real Price of Freedom of Speech
In a seemingly ‘modern day world’ the price in which society pays for the right to freedom of speech is an expensive one. The media industry has created a vast web of the media industry spanning around the globe, which enables them to write about news from all around the world. However, it is this worldwide spread of news that creates tension and anger regarding journalist’s freedom of speech. On the wider scale, freedom of speech is largely accepted by the masses of society, however unfortunately there are still collections of extreme groups scattered around the world who disagree with the idea of the right to freedom of speech. These extremist views that attempt to force censorship and restriction of the freedom of speech ultimately make the job of a journalist one of the up and coming most dangerous jobs going.
On Wednesday 7th January 2015 the true extent of how far these extreme groups are willing to go to in order to censor the media industry was illustrated through the tragic and brutal attack that was aimed at the offices of the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo. Two armed gunmen fired on the unsuspecting and unarmed offices due to their outrage at cartoons that had been published by the newspaper. The horrifying attack tragically ended in the heartbreaking loss of twelve journalists lives, who lived and died expressing their freedom of speech. 2013 also highlighted the life-changing consequences that journalists face on a day-to-day basis by doing their job. Three journalists were arrested in Egypt in 2013 for supposedly aiding the ‘Muslim Brotherhood’ (a group that is regarded as a terror organization). All three men received jail sentences ranging from seven to ten years, despite all three of them pleading their innocence, stating that they had merely been doing their jobs and reporting the news.
Media under threat
While these two events are extreme, they are by no means anomalies. The media industry is frequently coming under threat by extremist views when they have reported on potentially controversial issues. Consequentially because of this, individuals and corporations are put at risk and potentially death due to the very nature of their job. Violence, imprisonment, sexual assault and even death are a small number of things that journalists are threatened with all over the globe. However, the media industry and society aren’t going to be giving up their freedom of speech anytime soon. International outrage has sparked after both of the events mentioned above that have attempted to silence the media. The power of the people is not something to be underestimated, more than three million people have protested across France for the lives that have been lost due to the brutal terror attack that took place last week, this solidarity shows that people all over the world aren’t giving in to these threats and acts of brutality.
Freedom of Speech
Everything in this world has a price, and freedom of speech in today’s world currently holds an incredibly expensive one. Is the threat of violence a threat that’s big enough to hold down a nation that wants the truth? I think that the proclamation of solidarity that Stephane Carbonnier, Charlie Hebdo’s editor said, sums up everyone’s defiant and determined stance, ‘I’d rather die standing, than live on my knees’.