Freedom of the press challenged by extremists in France

Viking Logue Staff

Writers and journalists alike have been forced into silence for provoking both thought and tension. In return, those individuals have fought back, such as Socrates, who denied his death sentence jury the power to take away his right to speak his mind in 399 B.C. Generations later, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was exiled from Russia in 1974 for bringing the horrors of  Stalin-era labor camps to light through literature. Practically since the day humans acquired the abilities to speak and write, they have been told what can actually be vocalized and published. Recently, journalists have banded together in a fight for freedom of the press after Islamist extremists Cherif and Said Kouachi entered into the offices of French magazine Charlie Hebdo and killed 10 cartoonists, and in the following two days, they killed two more civilians.

 

Citizens of Pakistan have taken to protesting against the magazine for publishing cartoons of Muhammad while journalists around the world stand together for the right to express their thoughts without violent retaliation. We stand behind the journalists who desire both the freedom to express ideas and the harmony between readers and writers. While the Viking Logue does not agree with singling out cultures, religions, races, or any other socially defining characteristics, we believe that a basic right of civilization is the ability to publish beliefs in any manner.

 

If freedom of the press was not upheld in every political or social climate, then a situation’s different viewpoints would go unheard. It would be an injustice for the public if any individual perspective was censored or threatened, especially if by violent means like the Charlie Hebdo shooting. Ultimately, it is up to the publisher to decide what he or she wants to release to the public. This power needs to be protected. With such a tight-knit relationship between publications and political institutions, protecting journalists should be among legislative and security priorities.