Subjecting press freedom to the spook of national security

Outsa Mokone
Outsa Mokone

The conditions under which journalists work are becoming more dangerous as governments around the world clamp down on their freedom in the guise oaf safeguarding national security, writes TITUS MBUYA

“Since the killing, law enforcement have arrested or detained at least 10 journalists, and tried to silence many more. They’ve escalated violence against the media, shooting tear gas canisters at reporters and dismantling cameras and lighting equipment. The Post’s Wesley Lowery was slammed into a soda machine and arrested after disregarding an illegal order to stop filming. ‘Don’t resist,’ one cop threatened an Al Jazeera reporter. ‘I’ll bust your head right here’.”

This chilling account of events could be a passage taken from the most critical newspaper of the Zimbabwean government about atrocities carried out by security agents against journalists in that country. But, lo and behold, the passage is from that American standard bearer of quality journalism, The Washington Post, describing the treatment of journalists while practicing their craft in the United States of America! It is taken from an article penned by columnist Katrina vanden Heulen following the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri earlier this year.

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