For many years I have been involved in issues of protecting democratic freedoms and rights. Whether it was for trade unionists or journalists, the issues are the same: Without freedom of assembly, speech and press there is little chance the people’s rights can be protected.
I have been frustrated that for more than 20 years the U.S. media keep turning a blind eye to events around the world. More and more news organizations reduce or eliminate their foreign coverage. Local newspaper editors and publishers scream that “Local! Local! Local!” is the creed for their papers at a time when global interconnection reaches deeply into local economies.
So here I want to look at issues that affect journalism and journalists around the world. I also will look at how local news organizations can — without any extra cost — develop stories and story ideas that can help their readers, viewers, listeners better understand the local linkage to the world.
The global-local link also goes deeper.
The acts of violence and repression against journalists around the world affect Americans, despite a general idea that “the problem is over there.” When journalists are killed in Mexico or Iraq, or jailed in China or Venezuela, or harassed and censored in Honduras or Zimbabwe. We all lose.
We lose because vital information about the societies, the governments and the economies of the repressive/violent countries is lost to us. In an ever-interdependent world we need as much information as possible about other lands and cultures if the democracies are to survive.
So I offer this small space of an independent voice to talk about the issues facing free and independent journalism around the world. And to talk about how American journalists can better serve their readers/listeners/viewers by looking at the local-global connections to stories.