Attack on media freedom in Paris

The murder of 12 people at the Paris office of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo on January 7th has a bearing on several themes dealt with in the book. Responses by political elites, journalists, ordinary people and the producers of popular culture produced a wealth of primary source material almost overnight. Reporters Without Borders condemned the attempt by gunmen to silence the satirists working for the provocative left-wing publication, publishing an online petition in defence of media freedom. Cartoonists across the world responded to the horrific events with satirical images of their own and well-known writers reaffirmed the power of the image: as J.K. Rowling tweeted, a picture can sometimes say it better than any writer. With the hashtag #JeSuisCharlie, social media users everywhere joined to condemn the attempt by gunmen to silence the satirists working for the provocative left-wing publication. Commentaries by journalists, such as that published by Simon Jenkins in the Guardian within hours of the shooting, are material for framing analyses and provide food for thought. ‘Now is the time to uphold freedoms and not give in to fear,’ he wrote.

 

 Main picture: Claude Truong-Ngoc

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