Threats to journalists on the rise
The sickening news of five deaths in a targeted attack on the Capital Gazette newspaper group highlights the growing threats to journalists.
Before today’s incident, at least 43 journalists have been killed in targeted killings or cross-fire incidents around the world this year.
Police have confirmed the suspect in this latest incident intended to target the Capital Gazette group and had previously made threats on social media.
“When political leaders around the world are regularly decrying 'fake news' and labelling journalists as 'enemies' they are contributing to a volatile and dangerous environment for journalists,” said MEAA Media section president Marcus Strom.
“While we still don’t know the exact motive for this attack, we can’t ignore the proliferation of this dangerous rhetoric. Words have consequences.
“It is time for leaders to demonstrate their respect and support for journalists and journalism. Threats, harassment and intimidation of the media are threats to press freedom and should be called out as such,” Strom said.
"Australian journalists are devastated by the news but are inspired by the courage of journalists and staff at the Capital Gazette to continue to serve their community and the craft that we love."