Saturday, January 16, 2021

Editorial: Freedoms worth the fight

Sometimes it takes tragedy to remind us of what’s important.

This week in Cardinal Points, news editor Maggie McVey wrote about Plattsburgh student Nicole Sarai’s experience as she witnessed first-hand the terrorist attacks that occurred Jan. 7 against satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris.

In the wake of this tragedy, over a million people, joined by more than 40 world leaders, gathered in France as part of an international rally for peace.

The freedoms at stake? Religious tolerance and freedom of speech, among others, were assumed rights that became instantly threatened. As part of the journalistic community, we at Cardinal Points stand behind the march and the principles Charlie Hebdo and those people stood for.

As journalists ourselves, we stand by our words and messages we publish every week. It is our duty to inform our readers on global issues and sometimes challenge certain ideas as well. This is why we stand in solidarity with those affected by this horrendous attack.

While there are exceptions, journalists generally take pride in serving the public with fact and entertainment, while also mixing in opinions on topics we think are worth giving attention to.

Those at Charlie Hebdo took a stance, and it was one they have every right to express. Al-Qaeda, obviously no stranger to extremist views and violent retaliation, resorted to taking lives because they did not agree with the expressed view.

When it comes to the media, freedom of expression is incredibly important. Perhaps the most noteworthy aspect of the march was the powerful political figures in attendance.

Governments and politicians are on the receiving end of plenty of media criticism. For them to join Paris in its time of need and defend the same principles that threaten their power the most was a powerful statement.

On Feb. 18, the White House, in reaction to these events, will convene an international forum on improving how to counter terrorism. Ultimately, this tragedy comes down to how much value people place on the previously mentioned freedoms.

For Cardinal Points, we feel this is something worth fighting for.

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