EDITOR’S NOTE: If the journalists go, who will be left to speak out for you?
I HATE it when a journalist becomes part of the news.
This week it happened to a few, including one I hold dear. My former sister editor Angela Quintal and her comrade from the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) were detained in Tanzania.
This is a really sad development. Not so long ago the whole continent applauded as President John “Bulldozer” Magufuli took over and started bulldozing corruption out of his beautiful country. What led to his transmogrification into a monster is puzzling.
While we sigh with relief that Quintal and Muthoki Mumo were later released, we can’t celebrate while another fellow journalist, Azory Gwanda, who disappeared a year ago, is still missing.
The CPJ also has some work to do in its base country, the US.
The rough treatment of CNN correspondent Jim Acosta – simply for giving US President Donald Trump a hard time during his post-election media conference
– may pale into insignificance in comparison to the detention, murder and so on seen in too many parts of Africa and the globe, but it’s still a cause for concern.
Also worrying is the now everpresent element of fake news.
Apparently Infowars, an ultra-right website, had a hand in the “doctored” video exaggerating Acosta’s behaviour that led to him being banned from the White House.
First they are coming for the journalists, and not many people are speaking out because they are not journalists.
When they come for you, will anyone be left to speak for you?
MAZWI XABA firstname.lastname@example.org