Freedom of the press is the corner-stone of any legitimate democracy. It is also one of the first freedoms to be curtailed or removed completely when a dictator or an autocrat comes into power.
On Thursday, a gunman killed five employees of the Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland. According to the news reports, the accused gunman held a grudge against the newspaper. In 2011, the gunman, Jarrod Ramos was accused of stalking a former high school classmate. As any newsroom would do, they reported the story for their readers.
While this story again brings up the issue of gun control and mental health, I think the bigger issue is the question of the security of freedom of the press. It’s not exactly a secret that you know who openly disdains and criticizes the press with the exception of a few newspapers or channels that cater to his views.
While the accused certainly has blood on his hands, I have to wonder if the open war on the press is in a small way, partly to blame for the murders of five innocent people.