Dear Journalists | Teen Ink

Dear Journalists

February 27, 2019
By RaniaMichaela PLATINUM, Abu Dhabi, Other
RaniaMichaela PLATINUM, Abu Dhabi, Other
21 articles 0 photos 4 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Don't watch what they say, watch what they do." ~ Rachel Maddow

On behalf of your viewers and readers, I’d like to say two simple words: thank you. Thank you for doing your jobs as difficult as it is right now. On our end, we would love to be in your place, but now our eyes are opening up. We’re seeing the sacrifices you are making, the threats and nasty comments you’re tuning out and how you just go ahead and do your job without fearing the consequences. We admire your bravery. Thank you for being brutally honest about what’s going on in the world, whether that be the drama surrounding the Brexit negotiations or the political unrest in Venezuela or the madness of the White House in the United States. You tell us what the people in power don’t want us to know, and we appreciate it. We really do.

Thanks to you, we know what’s going on in our world and we’re taking steps to change it if we don’t like what we see. You give us an insight into a world outside our bubble. I only know the bubble of where I live (where most people can’t even point on a map) and because of you, I know what’s going on thousands of kilometres away. If it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t have the passion for writing that I have. I wouldn’t have an interest in current events because I wouldn’t know a thing. Your work inspires people, even if you never see them.

But we also an idea of the consequences you face for doing this honourable work.

Around the world, journalists are killed or jailed because they had the courage to speak truth to power. In 2019, 3 journalists and 1 citizen journalist have already been killed according to the non profit Reporters Without Borders (or Reporters Sans Frontières in French) and 168 journalists, 150 citizen journalists as well as 16 media assistants are being jailed as we speak. Among those jailed is Al Jazeera reporter Mahmoud Hussein who was been detained for 2 years in Egypt yet hasn’t been put on trial and doesn't have charges pressed against him. The duration of his detainment thus far is a violation of both Egyptian and international law. The United Nations has stepped in, declaring that Hussein be released immediately. Pipe bombs were sent to CNN offices in multiple states, directly endangering whoever was inside. Anchors Poppy Harlow and Jim Scuitto from CNN were forced to evacuate on the air as a bomb threat was registered in their studio. When they went outside, they continued reporting the news. That in itself is incredible. Let's not forget the Capital Gazette newsroom shooting in Virginia. Innocent journalists were shot that day, but the Gazette pushed through the pain they were feeling and published a newspaper the very next day. The most powerful part of that issue was the opinion where only a short sentence was printed, we have no words. Those four words are enough to make a heart break.

The pain and suffering you go through in this day and age isn’t always seen or noted. You get harassed every day just for doing your job. Katy Tur, one of your colleagues at MSNBC, made sure that the people watching knew a little bit about the horrific messages she gets online. Just to jog your memory, Katy Tur was targeted by President Trump on the campaign trail and I’m sure some of you reading can say the same. You know how bad that feels, and you most certainly can describe the wrath of his dedicated supporters. Ms. Tur even wrote a book called ‘Unbelievable’ all about her insane story on the campaign trail. Any journalist that has had to deal with the President can probably relate to at least one portion of the book. You get horrible messages and death threats on a regular basis but you power through. You do it because you want to honour your profession. No matter where you work, I know you’re grateful for the job you have. If you weren’t, why are you staying? For those who just want to make the world smarter and more informed, thank you. Thank you for going above and beyond your duty. We won’t let your hard work go to waste.

Yet here we are again. Your colleagues (and possibly even you) have escaped yet another assassination attempt. Chris Hayes, Ari Melber, Joe Scarborough, Chris Cuomo, Van Jones, Don Lemon, if you’re reading this, I just want to say on behalf of your viewers that we’re so sorry we let a member of our society put you in danger like this. We should’ve seen this coming knowing how hostile the media environment is right now. If you were on the air when you had to report about how your life was in peril on a breaking news segment (Chris Hayes, looking at you), I couldn’t possibly imagine how shaken you were after that. Let me just say this once and for all, we love and appreciate every single one of you. Your job has always been difficult but now it has gone way too far. The red line was crossed a while ago but yet we have done nothing to help you. We’ve done nothing to make your job a little easier. Those of us who care about what you do for us will do everything we can to help you. For some of us like me, it isn’t much. For others, a lot more can be done. If you want to finish this letter with one simple message in mind, let it be this. People around the world notice, love, appreciate and care about you. If you’re on cable news, people wake up at 5 or 6 or perhaps even earlier just to watch you. We record your shows because we don’t want to miss a beat. You keep us sane, and we love you for it.

Yours truly,

An Inspired Viewer and Reader on the Other Side of the World

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