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Journalists Under Attack Across The Globe.

It is an open season on journalists. All across the world, journalists are under attack. There is no denying this unpleasant truth. From the United States, to little known Malta off the coast of Italy, journalists are being verbally and physically assaulted, raped and in extreme cases, murdered.  It is ugly, sad and by all means, a huge threat to democracy, human rights and freedom.

In the United States, the unpredictable and brash President Donald Trump has made it a habit of publicly humiliating journalists by hurling insults at them and branding them purveyors of fake news. He has a particular hatred for CNN and MSNBC, a top rated media organization in the country.

Across the Atlantic ocean in Europe it is the same ugly scenario for journalists, particularly for those working in authoritarian countries. In Russia, strongman Vladimir Putin has thrown journalists who oppose his harsh rule into jail, and some have been gunned down in public.

Turkey has the largest number of journalists in jail than anywhere else in the world. Turkish President Erdogan was particularly vicious after the failed coup attempt against his government in 2016.

He subsequently jailed members of the media he perceived to be in the camp of his sworn foe, the Islamic cleric Fatullah Gullen.

A Saudi Arabian journalist who had written critical opinion pieces in the Washington Post newspaper about the Saudi government suddenly went missing two weeks ago when he entered the Saudi embassy in Turkey. He has reportedly been silenced. Killed.

And in Bulgaria and in Malta, two investigative female journalists were gruesomely murdered, all for having the audacity to investigate corruption in high places.

In Malta, one was blown up in her car, and in Bulgaria, the other was attacked, sexually assaulted and then killed. In Syria where a vicious, and bloody fratricidal war still rages, journalists have been deliberately targeted by the Assad regime and killed.

Back in our neck of the woods, in our own backyard, journalists have not been spared. They are suffering the same fate as their counterparts in America and Europe. In Tamale, a local reporter was attacked and his equipment manhandled by a hothead at the Nyakpala campus of UDS. In the Volta region, an angry local politician allegedly threatened two reporters who had gone to his office to investigate charges of corruption against him.

The reasons for this state of affairs range from the mundane to the absurd. People in power don’t want to be exposed as inept and corrupt and incapable of delivering on the many promises they made to unsuspecting voters.

So, there will never be an end to this sad saga of reporters having their skulls broken, being thrown in jail and in the worst case scenarios, having their lives snuffed out.

But these tactics severe and drastic as they are, won’t preclude reporters from doing their job of exposing corruption and keeping officials honest and the public duly informed and educated.

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