Richard Kaplan Published 7:00 a.m. MT Dec. 17, 2017
This is a reader-submitted opinion, which may include reported facts or quotes, but it emphasizes the author’s own thoughts, personal preferences and conclusions.
Recent efforts to discredit the press are a product of those who have an interest in controlling your information. It has nothing to do with journalists and everything to do with politicians and priests, businessman and network “news” advertising executives attempting to embed their judgement before you have a chance to articulate your own. Meet it all with contempt.
These past weeks have been devastating. There are forces, all counter to your own, that have an interest in keeping you uninformed. Knowledge is power, and that power belongs in your hands.
As a researcher, often operating in failing environments, there was always some level of protection provided, first as a journalist, and if that failed, as an American citizen. The protections we require are being removed.
At a recent press conference, President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines declared foreign journalists to be considered “spies.” Not a huge surprise considering his track record of extrajudicial persecution of any voice besides his own.
The part that is surprising is that a complicit U.S. president shared the stage for this proclamation during a stopover on his recent junket through Asia.
This month also saw President Vladimir Putin of Russia enact legislation that registers non-Russian journalists as foreign agents. Both moves strip journalists of their objective status. It is hardly dramatic to state that it puts a bull’s-eye right on our backs.
Incidentally, domestic reporters in both Russia and the Philippines know that to report anything disagreeable results in imprisonment or death. Reporting news is increasingly dangerous. That is the intention of this angling. As a matter of course, autocrats instinctively maneuver to control information in order to act with impunity.
Any indication, subtle or aggressive, seeking to limit your access to information through targeting the press must be met with the greatest condemnation. Be vigilant, and view these quiet initiatives with a prejudice reserved for the most exceptional fiends in documented history, both at home and abroad.
Richard Kaplan, Bellvue
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