The New Today

Letters

Purveyors of Truth: An endangered Species

Haitian Radio Journalist Francklin Tamar was a bright and creative person, covering music and culture for over two decades. Working in a Haiti that has been experiencing both national chaos and confusion.

Natural Disaster strikes one after the other.

A corrupt political system unable to get itself out of the gutter.

Average Haitians driven to poverty and despair.

Gangland Violence spreading throughout the nation, while the authorities know not how to curtail it.

An overall political and social national move towards authoritarianism.

Francklin made every effort to support his people and fight for their benefit using the tools he had available to him, namely the radio and media.

While in the pursuit of social and equitable social change, the forces of fascism and corruption struck out, having Francklin murdered. Two murderers on motorbikes shot him dead this past December 2022.

Another journalist was murdered because they tried to present the truth to their neighbourhood, trying to pursue those who corrupt society, steal the national wealth and manipulate the media. Because they try to bring those responsible to justice, standing against organisations, gangs and national governments at times, many like Francklin become targets of opportunity, and ultimately are driven into the shadows, or assaulted and often killed.

Francklin was 38 years old, a young and idealistic person who cared for his neighbors and nation alike. The Haitian Police and Government have yet to find the killers.

Violence against journalists and social activists continues to grow, with more than a half dozen killed because of the work they do.

Radio host Garry Tess was found dead, as well as radio journalist Romelson Vilcin who died when police fired tear gas at a group of journalists protesting outside a police station.

Violence throughout the Caribbean and Central-South America has cost the lives of many journalists, activists and ordinary civilians.

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists over 163 have been killed in this region, with many going missing and not found. It is like the Pinochet Government of Chile’s methods of control have taken over Latin America, disallowing the average citizen to protest in any fashion. Afghanistan Journalists who opposed the Taliban have either fled, been arrested and killed. Over fifty journalists have been murdered in South Africa in 2022, with eleven murdered in 2021.

UNESCO has been researching and studying this phenomenon for many years, proclaiming journalism as an endangered and threatened profession within many corners of the globe.

As long as truth is perceived to be a danger to someone, a group, organisation of national government journalists, the purveyors of truth will be a threatened human species, yet heroes to those coveting Truth and Justice worldwide.

Steven Kaszab
Bradford, Ontario