An Integral Part of Society in Danger

Increase in Intimidation to Silence the Freedom of the Press Worldwide
Hong-Kong-Immigration Rally | courtesy of the United Nations
Hong-Kong-Immigration Rally | courtesy of the United Nations

The goal of journalism is to keep the public informed. It is protected by the First Amendment and serves to protect democracy. Across the world, journalists are being suppressed, unable to give the truth out to the public. 

May 3rd is known as World Press Freedom Day, and the United Nations focused on the connection between press freedom and overall human rights this year. According to United Nations News, 2022 was the deadliest year for journalists across the globe. In 2020, 62 journalists were killed just for doing their jobs.

This was exemplified by current predicaments in Central America. The leading journalist in Guatemala, José Rubén Zamora, was sentenced to six years in prison because of money laundering, right after investigating the corruption in the government. 

Zamora had created Guatemala’s most prominent newspaper, El Periodico, in 1996. With his imprisonment in May 2023, the newspaper was shut down.

These issues are not only overseas. In Kansas, a small newspaper owner’s house was raided by police after she was suspected of having information that could be investigated. The 98-year-old died the next day due to large amounts of stress. In that raid, various other confidential information was taken, including the identities of sources. In the United States, shield laws protect a journalist’s right to conceal a source’s identity.

In 2022, Las Vegas government official Robert Teller was charged with the murder of reporter Jeff German. The latter was investigating Teller the week of his death. Of all the journalists killed, only 1 in 10 murderers were prosecuted.

Having been a part of the Big Red Hawks for the last four years, this information is hard to hear. The news is an integral part of society, and the work that has been published on the Big Red Hawks serves as evidence. With the dangers of suppression lurking around the world, it’s scary to think that this could bleed into our own lives. As one of the Co-editors-in-chiefs of the Big Red Hawks, it is my goal to ensure that all news is shared.

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About the Contributor
Avani Kashalikar, Editor-in-Chief
Senior Avani Kashalikar is taking journalism for the second time since her freshman year, but she has been an active writer and editor for all four years. She took this class because she likes Ms. Paton and wanted to improve her writing skills. Kashalikar plays varsity field hockey and volunteers at the dog shelter in her free time. She has gained confidence and talking skills since taking this class her freshman year. Kashalikar has always had it in the back of her mind that she wanted to take this class again senior year and wanted to focus on journalism which is why she came back. Kashalikar’s dream vacation is in Greece or Egypt.

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