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Journalists risk lives for responsibility, integrity

Credit: Maria Raffaele/Art Editor Credit: Maria Raffaele/Art Editor

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists’ (CPJ) 2009 Attacks on the Press Report, 71 journalists were killed in 2009 — making last year the worst on CPJ’s 30-year record. In addition to the large number of deaths, the committee said it also identified 136 imprisoned reporters, editors, and photojournalists, an increase of 11 from 2008.

Here at The Tartan, we simultaneously mourn the loss of these individuals while applauding the creed that they upheld. The history of journalism is one of the most noble; a journalist’s first obligation has always been to the truth.

That obligation is followed by a responsibility to the public: a duty to be an unbiased measure of those in power for the sake of the people. Historically, these ideals have been defended in bitter battles, leaving the history of journalism laced with violence and bloodshed.

Today, these same ideals have been confronted across the world with a violence that is unfortunately familiar. While the death tolls continue to rise, we can celebrate in the fact that these deaths, while horrific, represent a continued, unshakable commitment to the truth.