The Armenian - American, Hrant Dink, who had received death threats from nationalists for questioning Turkey's denial of an Armenian genocide, was shot in the head and killed today in front of his office in Turkey.
Last October, Russian Anna Politkovskaya, a leading investigative journalist and critic of President Vladimir Putin, was shot, contract-style, in her Moscow apartment building.
“When an internationally renowned reporter can be gunned down in her own apartment building and the perpetrators walk away free, it has a devastating effect on the press. Fewer tough questions are asked, fewer risky stories are covered, Her case shows why impunity is such a serious threat to press freedom, not only in Russia but in nations such as the Philippines, Colombia, Mexico, and Pakistan.”
Large corporations and powerful groups would do anything to just keep their dirt under their rugs. Could you imagine any media outlet daring to expose the real contracts and conditions of a powerhouse like Halliburton while Cheney is still the VP?
Paul Klebnikov, Forbes Russia
July 9, 2004
Klebnikov, 41, editor of Forbes Magazine who exposed the workings of the country's shadowy billionaire tycoons, was killed outside his Moscow office. An American of Russian descent, he was struck several times by shots fired from a passing car.
Over the years, experience has demonstrated, that the attacks are done where the journalists are more vulnerable: their homes or office. Their families are often victims of hostilities, harassment and even abduction. Journalists are not celebrities. The more exposed they are in that matter, the more vulnerable and less capable they are to do their job without the added burden.
Many might be thinking, that doesn't´t happen in the USA. WRONG. More journalist are jailed here, companies threatened with losing their licenses or simply denying access to information. Something Rumsfield, Cheney and González have never doubt of doing and force.
After Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans and the Gulf states on August 29, the Federal Emergency Management Agency urged news organizations not to photograph dead bodies. Numerous bodies were left in public areas for days after the hurricane amid a government recovery effort that was widely criticized for being slow and ineffective. The Washington Post reported that in at least one instance state authorities echoed the demand not to photograph the dead.
New Orleans police adopted an aggressive stance in several reported cases. On September 1, city police ripped a camera from the neck of Lucas Oleniuk of the Toronto Star and removed the camera's memory cards, robbing the photographer of more than 350 images. The seized images included "officers delivering a fierce beating to two suspects," the Toronto Star reported. The same day, Gordon Russell of the New Orleans–based Times-Picayune wrote that he and another photographer were slammed against a wall and had their gear thrown to the ground by police. On September 7, NBC News anchor Brian Williams reported that he and his crew were ordered to stop filming a National Guard unit securing a downtown store. "I have searched my mind for some justification for why I can't be reporting in a calm and heavily defended American city and cannot find one," Williams told The Washington Post.
On October 18, a New Orleans police officer was caught on film harassing an Associated Press Television News producer whose crew was filming two other officers beating a man suspected of public intoxication. Two of the officers were fired and one was suspended.
Maybe the pressure of the US government towards the media outlets is the main reason the international press call US Media "soft wimps", that have left the hard questioning to Jon Stewart of the Daily Show. And with the added disadvantage of the celebrity cult that persists in the USA, where TV journalists draw attention to the verge of invasion of privacy or simple good old stalking.
So please keep in mind, that the next time you come across of an image of Anderson Cooper´s apartment, his home address, his family´s whereabouts, his personal life, you are not only enjoying a piece of entertainment gossip, you are supporting his vulnerability and mining his capability to access information, and by that silencing one of the few voices that ¨keeps them honest¨.