Reuters files beef against PentagonJournalists deserve respect [Archives:2004/707/Local News]

January 29 2004

Last week Reuters News Agency filed a complaint against the U.S. Defense Ministry (the Pentagon) due to the ill-treatment by the American Army of three Reuter journalists active in Iraq.
The three journalists were harshly treated by the American soldiers, even though the agency is American!
It is still seeking on obtaining an official apology and is persistent on it.
An American news agency suing the American army is to us is a strange piece of news indeed. Imagine how the confidence and morale of Reuters' staff is boosted because someone is feeling their pain, and is keen to get them their rights in case of such offences.
The attitude of the agency deserves from us much respect, from all American and non-American journalists in general. It is an attitude that deserves extreme gratitude and appreciation because it has shown us how it behooves media foundations to protect their staff members.
In fact, despite some objections by high ranking managers at the agency to file a case against the Pentagon, there has been courage shown by the colleagues of those journalists who were subjected to maltreatment.
Commentator Robert Schmool confirms that the strength of nations lies in the strength of their respective media. Journalists in developing and under developing countries , where democracies are emerging or where there are no democracies at all, wonder who for god's sake can protect them from oppression.
Oppression transcends bodily injuries and includes difficult living circumstances by preventing journalists from the freedom of expression, sacking them from their positions, unseating them from their social functions and looting their intellectual rights.
In developing countries including ours, journalists are often subjected to many harassments mostly through their employers because the employer cannot protect the employee.
Thus do not be astonished to find employees ousted from their jobs because a responsible is angry from a veritable piece of news. In fact you shall be astonished even more when that establishment obeys the whims of that responsible disregarding the long service and efforts exerted in service of that establishment.
The loss of protection to journalists paralyzes and causes disrespect.
Journalists living under such circumstances tend to heed such risks and try their best to get by, convinced that there is no journalism without risks.