It’s a day of mourning for journalists. Twelve journalists were among 46 murdered Monday in the Philippines. It’s not yet known what the motive for the attack was or if the journalists were the targets. But that’s 12 fewer of us in the world (and, it must also be said, 34 fewer innocent non-journalists as well).
You know, most days I get up and shake my head at this crazy thing I do. I consider myself extraordinarily lucky to be a journalist, to make a living telling people’s stories. Doubly lucky, in fact, because I get to do this weird thing in a country where journalists can live and work without fear of reprisal. Every once in a while it’s good to remind ourselves of the troubles journalists face abroad and how lucky we have it in Canada.
In a recent Q&A with CBC, Russian journalist Elena Milashina spoke of the difficulty working in a country where journalists are frequently murdered. Milashina told the interviewer if she’d known of the risks beforehand, she wouldn’t have become a journalist. But now she’s compelled. “I do what I have to do,” she said. “Whatever happens, will happen. It’s not that I expect something back from my job, changes or even thanks. It’s my job. It’s what I have to do.”