What happens to journalists who expose uncomfortable truths? How far are journalists prepared to go in order to report a difficult story? Silenced provides answers to these questions with the stories of journalists who risked their careers so that the public might be informed.
From China, where Jasper Becker, formerly Beijing bureau chief of the South China Morning Post, fought a lonely and unsuccessful battle against owners willing to soften the newspaper's reporting of the Chinese government in the hope of protecting mainland investments, to Zimbabwe where the harsh treatment of the Guardian’s Andrew Meldrum led to him being arrested and forcibly deported from the country because he dared criticize President Robert Mugabe, Silenced is a forcible reminder of the risks – both personal and financial — accepted by the media on our behalf.
Elsewhere, in other parts of the world, journalists face more traditional problems, whether it is the pressure placed on journalists Gary Hughes and Gerard Ryle when highlighting police corruption in Australia, or the aggressive tactics employed by the Belgian authorities against Stern magazine's Hans-Martin Tillack for exposing a financial scandal at the heart of the European Union.
When faced with the threat of censorship, all of these journalists reacted in a similar manner — they chose to report and face the consequences. They decided to place the ethics of journalism above all other considerations. As such they are proof that press freedom cannot exist without those who are willing to uphold its fundamental principals.
Silenced is more than a book on the media; it is an expression of the bravery and persistence of journalists everywhere.
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About the Author
David Dadge (Vienna, Austria) is the editor at the International Press Institute and the author of Silenced: International Journalists Expose Media Censorship. He writes frequently on the media and freedom of the press.