I had to share my views on the #CharlieHebdo story currently trending on social and all the networks. The massacre of the journalist is an incorrigible act bordering on barbarism. The videos of the murderer shooting the policeman is cold and frankly a reciprocal act for them is warranted. But this is my personal view. I can rant, fume and shout but it does not make my anger right. Anger is an expression best suited for cowards.
I believe every journalist has a responsibility. By responsibility I do not mean self censorship, I mean a responsibility to change. I often wonder at human spirit and nature, the two not exclusive of the other.There is always someone that will always think, act and do things differently. Human beings are the most complex of the species. It takes nothing and everything to trigger a negative or positive reaction. It is a constant wonder why we possess so many conflicting emotions. Whilst we wonder at man’s inconsistencies, we who are given a responsibility must seek to always educate, seek to calm and seek to promote his better judgement and not feed his fuel to anger.
Freedom of speech is not absolute. The #CharlieHebdo journalistic approach of expressing ‘freedom of speech’ by way of its cartoons is to me like a child playing with fire. The world is complex and whilst as a freedom of speech practitioner you are adamant on expression, I also believe you are not exercising journalism but practising martyrdom.
Human nature will not change in a day, neither will journalism. But what we can control is how we do journalism and from my perspective do it with honor, rigor, truth but sincere humility. Journalist do not use their pens as swords, they use their knowledge as weapons- weapons of change, weapons of education, weapons of respect , weapons of entertainment and weapons of civility.
What happened at #CharlieHebdo is a stain on journalism, it is also a message to #FreedomOfSpeech and that message is Speech, whilst a God Given Right , must be used to Uplift not Suppress, give voice to the dumb and eyes to the blind.