The Unprecedented Liability of Liberty
By Benjamin King
Journalists play an integral role in society. Information provided through the efforts of this diverse group of people is fundamental in many aspects of society. It serves as a basis for making important decisions, a warning against unacceptable behaviour, a resource for prediction of future events and provides insight into issues affecting the community. It is therefore crucial that this information is accurately and consistently available so as to ensure reliable application by users and prevent the possible negative impact that may result from misinformation or inadequate information.
Media is considered as a “mirror” of the modern society. In fact, media shapes many aspects of society.
Breaking and distorting the mirror- harassment of journalists and media suppression
In recent years, the number of cases of physical harassment of journalists by military has taken on an unprecedented growth. One would rightly expect freedom of expression to increase in unison with global civilisation. Recent recurring events across a considerable number of countries in the world, in the last decade, have confirmed prevalence of the direct opposite in reality. This downward spiral rings an alarm towards the risk of adverse effects on the world as the mirror of the society is painted and broken.
On 2nd April, 2021, Firstpost reported that:Ten days after seizing power in Myanmar, the generals issued their first command to journalists: Stop using the words “coup,” “regime” and “junta” to describe the military’s takeover of the government. Few reporters heeded the Orwellian directive, and the junta embraced a new goal: Crushing all free expression. Since then, the regime has arrested at least 56 journalists, outlawed online news outlets known for hard-edge reporting and crippled communications by cutting off mobile data service. Three photojournalists have been shot and wounded while taking photographs of the anti-coup demonstrations.
This is a clear example of media suppression and harassment of journalists. One of the chief applications of information provided by media is decision making. What kind of decisions are likely to be made basing on manipulated information? This puts the whole nation in a risky situation. And more importantly, is it right for someone to depend on biased information for insight into matters affecting the country? In case there’s a problem that needs to be dealt with; how can a remedy be found if the problem is being hidden? Is it really necessary or right that media should air out only that which makes a certain group of people happy? Comic books should serve this purpose better. Newspapers should be left alone.
A similar occurrence has been observed in other countries. The synchronicity of harassment of media personnel with times of political significance in these nations cannot be ignored. At the core, information aired out to the public through media poses a threat of exposing the flaws in governance to the public. It should be remembered as noted above that information provided by media serves as a basis for making important decisions, a warning against unacceptable behaviour, a resource for prediction of future events and provides insight into issues affecting the community. Needless to say, the position of an inefficient leadership, one with loopholes, is threatened. It is an issue of great concern that in some countries, efforts to protect journalists and make their work favourable leave a lot to be desired. ‘Surprise’ killings of media personnel are not uncommon. This often occurs when media focuses on and exposes inefficient systems of governance.
According to The Committee to Protect Journalists, globally, at least 30 journalists were killed in 2020; 21 of those were singled out for murder in retaliation for their work.
Carlos H. Conde noted on 11th August, 2017 that “since 1986, 177 journalists and media workers have been killed in the Philippines, making the country one of the most dangerous countries to practice journalism, according to the Committee to Project [sic] Journalists. Without accountability for killings of journalists, media freedom in the Philippines will remain under threat.” 
This is a perfect recipe for disaster. The number of journalists in the country may decrease over subsequent years and the information broadcast is susceptible to becoming continuously less reliable.
It is a proven principle of Physics that ‘When a concave mirror is exposed to the sun, all the incident sun rays are converged to the focal point and hence energy radiations are focussed at a single point. Hence, paper burns when it is kept at the focal point.’ 
Paraphrasing this analogy in rhythm with this topic under consideration: when the media mirror throws more light on inefficient leadership organisations, they burn with rage.
In 2020, Duterte stopped the operations of ABS-CBN. Carlos H. Conde reported that “The network, then the most watched and influential broadcaster in the country, had earned the Duterte’s ire for its reporting on human rights abuses related to the administration’s murderous “war on drugs.” The president also accused the network of being biased in favor of his political opponents. Duterte’s administration also sought to intimidate Rappler, the online news website, and filed cases against its founding editor and chief executive Maria Ressa, who was arrested many times and faces multiple court cases.” 
The issue here is predominantly personal. Why would information, such an important aspect- one that shapes people’s lives- be reduced to the level of a means of satisfaction of personal interests?
Many parts of the world have witnessed the lives of journalists put at stake and lost during and due to their duty. Society would have no progress if there was no reflection on occurrences and undertakings. It is therefore incumbent on both community and government to ensure a favourable atmosphere for journalists to perform their duty.
On protection of the lives of journalists
Christof Heyns and Sharath Srinivasan advise that. Comprehensive and effective safeguards to prevent physical threats against journalists and to ensure accountability should be established and regarded as a priority in terms of focus and resources. A clear public stand should be taken at the highest level of government to condemn executions of journalists and threats to their lives. Violence against journalists thrives where freedom of expression is absent .”
This arrangement ultimately calls for active participation of international bodies to ensure strict adherence to and reinforcement of these strategies. This should be an internationally-recognised arrangement among nations. At this level of organisations, the system is free of manipulation which would occur if it worked only within the parameters of an individual country in isolation. Any case of harassment of journalists and media suppression should attract the intervention of other countries and active participation of international rights organisations. Through this, the predicament shall be easily alleviated.
 Siva Sivani institute of Management
 Richard C Paddock c.2021 The New York Times Company; Myanmar military, aiming to silence protests and protesters, now sets its sights on journalists
 Jennifer Dunham; Murders of journalists more than double worldwide; CPJ report.
 Carlos H. Conde; Philippine Journalist Killings Demand State Action, Duterte Task Force Should Promptly Investigate; Human Rights Watch
Carlos H. Conde; Duterte should leave alone Philippines TV network.
 Christof Heyns and Sharath Srinivasan; Protecting the Right to Life of Journalists: The Need for a Higher Level of Engagement.