Journalists in Peril
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Who brings the news to civilians in Syria? In the United States, we have the liberty of free press. Our news is so accessible we have a 24-hour news network. There are written sources, connections on social media, and endless television broadcasts. However, in more impoverished or politically restricted countries, journalism is restrained heavily. While speaking to the US Director of Reporters without Borders (or Reporters Sans Frontières - RSF), I learned a few things about the plight leader to deliver free news worldwide. Delphine Halgand, the dynamic leader of RSF USA, “dreamed as a kid, worked hard, and worked for French Foreign Affairs” to build her passion for journalism and service. RSF is a non-profit organization that works to provide safety and political security for journalists around the world. Their many regions of work range from Africa to Southeast Asia to Eastern Europe. RSF raises funds through websites, rallies and mass communications. A unique part of their plan of action involves petitions which are created to reform various global issues relating to journalists i.e. the release of jailed Vietnamese bloggers.
“Technology has now become the face of news….We are working hard to innovate our tech outreach, especially in regions of China and Russia” said Halgand on the goals for RSF. Another area of focus comes in helping female journalists in repressing countries such as Pakistan. Take, for example, the case of Malala Yousafzai, the teen blogger who was shot by members of the Taliban. Her outcry to help educate women of the world caused much uproar in the Middle East. RSF, especially after this incident, has focused much of their efforts into helping female journalists and giving them the security they need. Their various aide programs work on the ground to provide clean living quarters and everyday supplies for international and domestic reporters.
RSF is also diplomatically involved in affairs of journalists’ rights. With regards to Eric Snowden, an NSA leaker of classified information, Halgand remarked, “There are certain fundamental rights for all people, let alone journalists. I believe that Snowden should have been dealt with within US jurisdiction before Russia was integrated into the slew of things…”