CAGAYAN DE ORO

Underpaid, under pressure and under fire

Touché

A JOURNALIST may have the privilege to access history and unfold it to the public themselves. But people forget the dangers journalists may have to withstand as they write, report, and reveal.

The night before the Konrad Adenauer Media Programme Asia’s Fall School that I attended last week, a lot of reports in Al Jazeera already bombarded my hotel’s TV about journalists who were either killed or missing.

Some were suspected to be extra-judicial or state-sponsored persecutions, while some cases have not yet been concluded whether the journalist in question is still alive or already dead.

Authorities continue to deny their deaths and claim that they were only abducted by some gang members. Their deaths were hidden to keep the suspects from public scrutiny.

Some of the news involved the death of Malta journalist Daphne Caruana Galiza a year ago who was reported to have died in a car-bombing incident.

Galiza, when she was still alive, exposed cases of corruption in business, government, and the police in her country.

Her family now wants to know whether the government had something to do with her death.

Another journalist from Saudi Arabia, Jamal Khashoggi, was reported to be abducted on October 2 this year in Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul and is currently missing. He is suspected to be dead already.

The Turkish media said that they have identified 15 ‘hitmen’ involved in his disappearance.

It is just sad how journalists who are overworked, underpaid, and underprivileged are always under fire. No glitz or glamour of the byline or the glory of the breaking news can ever compare to one’s life.

Yet, many of my brothers and sisters in the media continue to walk this deadly road all for the passion of reporting to the people.


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