Loss of two jour­nal­ists deeply felt

The Reporter (Lansdale, PA) - - FRONT PAGE -

For jour­nal­ists tak­ing on those in po­si­tions of au­thor­ity, some push­back is al­ways an­tic­i­pated.

For jour­nal­ists tak­ing on those in po­si­tions of au­thor­ity, some push­back is al­ways an­tic­i­pated.

It is prac­ti­cally part of the job de­scrip­tion.

But lately, jour­nal­ists abroad have of­ten be­come a tar­get for vi­o­lence, and two re­cent in­ci­dents in­di­cate that the vi­o­lence has taken on a new, par­tic­u­larly vi­cious na­ture.

In Bul­garia, investigative jour­nal­ist Vik­to­ria Mari­nova was raped and beaten to death in the town of Ruse. Ac­cord­ing to au­thor­i­ties, Ms. Mari­nova was beaten with such force that she was un­rec­og­niz­able.

The 30-year-old had just launched her own news talk show, “De­tec­tor.”

In the first episode, she in­ter­viewed two jour­nal­ists in­ves­ti­gat­ing the mis­use of Euro­pean Union funds.

Ms. Mari­nova is the fourth jour­nal­ist to be killed in Europe since the start of 2017.

Mean­while, in Turkey, Saudi jour­nal­ist and Wash­ing­ton Post colum­nist Ja­mal Khashoggi has been miss­ing since Oct. 2.

Mr. Khashoggi, a vo­cal critic of the Saudi gov­ern­ment’s op­pres­sive poli­cies, re­port­edly en­tered the Saudi con­sulate in Is­tan­bul to ob­tain mar­riage pa­per­work and never re­turned.

While Mr. Khashoggi’s dis­ap­pear­ance has not been of­fi­cially solved, Turk­ish po­lice of­fi­cials have claimed that a 15-per­son Saudi “death squad” cap­tured Mr. Khashoggi in­side the con­sulate, tor­tured and killed him, and then re­moved his dis­mem­bered body in a se­ries of boxes.

The Saudi gov­ern­ment has de­nied the al­le­ga­tion, but there is a grow­ing con­sen­sus that the story is likely true.

Through their re­spec­tive ef­forts, Ms. Mari­nova and Mr. Khashoggi were in­te­gral in un­cov­er­ing and an­a­lyz­ing crit­i­cal pieces of in­for­ma­tion about cor­rupt gov­ern­ment en­ti­ties and of­fi­cials.

They were among the best the pro­fes­sion had to of­fer. Their loss will be felt far and wide.

Sadly, their deaths are not iso­lated in­ci­dents.

Ac­cord­ing to the Com­mit­tee to Pro­tect Jour­nal­ists, 43 jour­nal­ists world­wide al­ready have been killed in 2018.

That is only three less than in all of 2017.

And more than 300 ac­cred­ited and cit­i­zen-jour­nal­ists have been im­pris­oned sim­ply for do­ing their jobs.

These threats to press free­dom should be of con­cern to ev­ery­one who cher­ishes free in­quiry, free ex­pres­sion and free thought.

Se­ri­ous work must be done to pre­serve these fun­da­men­tal lib­er­ties.

This is the mis­sion Vik­to­ria Mari­nova and Ja­mal Khashoggi paid dearly for.

We all must work to take up their man­tle.

n this Oct. 10, 2018, file photo, peo­ple hold signs dur­ing a protest at the Em­bassy of Saudi Ara­bia about the dis­ap­pear­ance of Saudi jour­nal­ist Ja­mal Khashoggi, in Wash­ing­ton.

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