ISIS’ beheadings of journalists seek to stifle independent voices

Decked out in a bullet proof vest, James Foley reads on his downtime.

Decked out in a bullet proof vest, James Foley reads on his downtime. He was beheaded by ISIS operatives.

The role of journalists across the globe is especially important as the need to share the news across various outlets becomes integral, despite the range of social media forms. For some journalists, the job to investigate and disseminate the news comes at risks to their personal safety, but the job must be done.

James Foley, 40, was an American journalist who worked for the website GlobalPost. Foley hailed from the small state of New Hampshire. Dedicated to his craft and his profession, he was captured in November 2012 while covering the Syrian unrest. He was beheaded by ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria), or ISIL operatives. The video of the gruesome murder was splashed across the airwaves in an attempt to intimidate other journalists and send a message to the U.S President Barack Obama that he needs to stop airstrikes targeting the Islamist extremists.

Steven Sotolof before he was beheaded.

Journalist Steven Sotolof was beheaded despite a plea by his mother, that she directed specifically to his captors, begging for his life to be spared.

Another American journalist, Steven Sotoloff, 31, originally from South Florida was a freelancer for Time and The Christian Science Monitor. The focus of his work was to highlight the plight of Muslims “at the hands of tyrants.” He was beheaded days after his mother aired an appeal directly to his captors. President Obama has stated that his objective is to “degrade and ultimately destroy” ISIS. While British Prime Minister David Cameron threatened to “do everything in our power to hunt down these murderers,” after a British aid worker David Haines, was beheaded.

As the world becomes more dangerous for various reasons such as wars, political strife and socio-economic factors, journalists take even greater risks to perform their jobs. But the dangers do not diminish the vital role that journalists play in society: investigating and disseminating the news. When journalists are tortured, murdered or harassed and arrested without justification, like they were this summer in Ferguson, Missouri, it is important for collective voices to be raised against such actions. Your right to be informed about every facet of society depends on it.–OnPointPress.net.

President Obama defends journalists’ rights to work freely in Ferguson, MI

St. Louis and Ferguson Police fired tear gas at crowds to disperse protesters.

St. Louis and Ferguson Police fired tear gas at crowds to disperse protesters.

By Carmen Glover

President Barack Obama took a break from his vacation on Martha’s Vineyard to address the nation regarding the turmoil in Ferguson, Missouri and defend the rights of journalists to work.

“Here in the United States of America, police should not be bullying or arresting journalists who are just trying to do their job,” President Obama said’ defending journalists’ First Amendment rights in reference to the stunning images and reports of journalists being manhandled, harassed and arrested, while reporting on the shooting death of unarmed teenager Michael Brown by an unnamed police officer on Saturday, August 9.

President Obama issues statement about the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri following the shooting death of Michael Brown.

President Obama issues statement about the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri following the shooting death of Michael Brown.

“I know that many Americans have been deeply disturbed by the images they have seen from the heartland of the country,” President Obama said.”I have already tasked the Justice Department and the FBI to investigate. I made it clear to the US Attorney General to investigate exactly what happened. It’s important to remember how this happened. We lost a young man, Michael Brown under tragic circumstances.”

St. Louis and Ferguson police officers in riot gear face off against protestors and journalists.

St. Louis and Ferguson police officers in riot gear face off against protestors and journalists.

While the president supported protesters’ rights to peacefully assemble he made it clear that violence toward or by the police was unacceptable. “There is never an excuse for violence against police,” he said. “Now is the time for transparency to see that justice is done. Now is the time for peace.”-OnPointPress.net