The New York Times ran a piece yesterday that the Obama Administration now believes that Pakistan’s spy agency ordered the killing of journalist Saleem Shahzad, May 29 because of his scathing reports about the infiltration of militants in the military.
It is good that people are staying on top of the Shahzad case. He did what all good journalists should do: follow the facts and report without fear or favor.
And it is good that there is international coverage about this situation. Think about all the money being pumped into Pakistan by the United States and the rest of the developed world. Kinda disheartening to see that some of that money might have been used to repress the values of freedom of speech and press.
But where is the similar global outrage when Miguel Ángel López Velasco, 55, a columnist with the Veracruz daily Notiver, his wife, Agustina Solano de López, and their son Misael, 21, were killed by unidentified assailants June 20?
Or the condemnations of the unsolved murders of journalists is Russia, Colombia or Somalia?
Threats to journalists exist around the world. The case the Shahzad killing got a lot of attention. But maybe covering that case was just easy for the non-Pakistan media. They were already in the country covering Afghanistan and the Bin-Laden take down. The Shahzad case was personal to them and it was low-hanging fruit.
The journalists in Mexico, Somalia, Honduras, Colombia are largely unknown to the major media players. So, unfortunately, they get little or no attention. (Until, like in some of the Mexican cases, there is a direct U.S. connection, such as the journalist asking for asylum. But even then…)
No one is asking for 24/7 reporting on the harassment and killings of journalists. But it would be useful to the readers/viewers/listeners if the death of a prominent journalist at the hands of a state agency could be put into a global perspective.