According to United Nations, journalism has become one of the most dangerous professions. In vast numbers, journalists have been harassed, assaulted, jailed, and killed because of reporting on the doings of their governments. Such barbaric and inhuman acts need to be condemned in the strongest terms possible. A sad state!!
On 12 November 1997, UNESCO’s General Conference, at its 29th session, adopted Resolution 29, “Condemnation of Violence against Journalists,” asking the Director-General to condemn the assassination and any physical violation against journalists as a crime against society since it curtails freedom of speech and expression. Unfortunately, the safety of journalists remains a pipe dream in several jurisdictions.
The killing of Rwandan-based journalist John Williams Ntwali has sent shivers down the spine of media stakeholders and concerned observers. Police accounts say he was killed when a speeding vehicle rammed a motorcycle he was riding pillion. His two-year decade as a journalist has seen him get arrested multiple times due to his criticism of the Rwanda Government. Speculations will likely deepen the mystery; thus, investigations ought to be conducted swiftly and conclusively.
It takes sheer audacity to be a journalist today. For those living under regimes that do not respect press freedoms or open expression, being a journalist means going the extra mile, putting one’s life at risk. Journalists upbraid the powerful figures in government so that their fellow citizens can understand stories that others would prefer to hide.
Corruption and wrongdoing need to be exposed. The media is the cornerstone of any democracy. For it to function effectively, journalists must be assured of their safety. Our Judicial system needs to arouse from slumber land and start providing justice to journalists. They also need to perform their duties in a much-improved way.