**Original Post: 28 Sept 2005
Two major stories that hit the freedom of speech and information in the heart. One is the jailing of award winning journalist Judith Miller of the New York Times for failing to disclose here sources, and the other the jailing of Al-Jazeera investigative journalist Taiseer Allouni for 7 years by Spain.
Ms. Miller has been sitting in Alexandria jail for more than 3 months with no end in sight as to how far the government will go toward prosecuting journalist as they risk every thing in search of the truth.
The jailing of Mr. Alouni arises out of interviews with that the number one terrorist, Osama Bin Laden. Of course Taiseer was jailed for his investigative journalism while other Western journalist who have done the same where never brought to trial. Of course the US jailed Ms. Miller, while Spain jailed Mr. Alouni.
More troublesome are the news from Beirut, where a car bomb severely injured TV journalist Ms. May Shidiaq. This comes soon after the car bomb murder of journalist Samir Qassir. It seems that the word is out, to get the entire journalist who are out to get the truth.
In a country like the US where the government is always part of the cover-up, we do need journalist who are dedicated to the truth to go where no politician dare to go, to the truth, even if the truth is hard to stomach. We need more of those journalist, that those on TV who makes millions of dollars shouting at themselves, shouting as their guests and shouting when they hear something that does not fit with their point of views. Of course the TV and airways are always full of these pseudo journalist, some of whom are an insult to the American intelligence. We need more of Ms. Miller and we need more of Taiseer Alouni, Samir Qassir and May Shidiaq.
We may not agree with the truth they bring out, but we must admire them for going where we as citizens could not go.
It is too bad that many journalists have been killed over the last year covering armed conflict all over the world. Some journalist, like those killed in Iraq where perhaps targeted killing design to intimidate journalist who reports on the mess we made out of Iraq. They were not the pretty boys and girls “impeded” with the US military. This of course was the first time the use of the word” impeded” applied to journalist. One would think that what we need is independent journalist who bring us the good, the bad and ugly about our wars. Journalist like David Halberstram, Dan Rather, Tom Brokow, Peter Jennings, Edward R. Morrow, Eric Severid and that dean of all, Mr. Walter Cronkite.
If any one take people like Bill O'Reilly and Rush Limbo as serious journalist, one need to take an introductory to journalism or buy one of those short books “journalism for dummies” from Safeway. There are journalists and then there are those who claim they are journalist who could not stand on their own without being fed by assistants and public relation staff.
I salute Mr. Miller and Mr. Alouni and I mourn Mr. Qassir and wish Ms. Shidiaq quick and speedy recovery. No one, no one should be jailed or killed for their opinion or because they are searching the truth.