Staff Ed: Freedom of the press

As a press organization, members of KE have received heat from the student body and administration for controversial pieces, and we’ve even had some incidents that have made national press. But we can thankfully say that no member of our staff’s life has ever been in danger for something we’ve published; but sadly, this not the case for too many members of the press. The Charlie Hebdo incident has made that incredibly clear.

Journalists and photojournalists work in the trenches of war, epidemics, and violence so that they can bravely collect the news that will be relayed to us by a reporter in the comfort of our own homes. They’re also the people who are able to make us interested and amused by the events of the everyday world; they’re connected with the general population in way no other profession really even comes close to, and in that way, an attack on them is an attack on all of us.

These mass attacks are not the only instances of extremist groups attempting to quiet the voice of the free world, as journalists are killed in the line of work every day; either accidentally while delivering news of conflict, or intentionally. Horrifying videos were released this past summer of members of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) beheading numerous journalists to send a message to these reporters, fighting, indirectly or directly, for freedom.

A select few of you reading this right now might plan on going into journalism, but all of you will rely on journalism and freedom of the press throughout your whole life to stay educated and informed on the world. We all have a stake in the continued survival of a free media, and an important one at that.

With an issue this large, it becomes necessary for every press organization, even one as small and non-profit generating as us, to condemn the attacks in Paris and elsewhere. It’s necessary for every individual around the world to condemn the Charlie Hebdo attacks, because a world without media, cartoonists, magazines, newspapers and general freedom of the press is a darker and less educated world for everyone.