Information Warfare: Be Careful What You Say

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May 24, 2013: In many parts of the world journalism is a contact sport, in which powerful individuals and organizations physically attack journalists who say unflattering things about them. Governments are usually the worst offenders and then compound their bad behavior by issuing lies that assert most of the attacks are by criminals. Examples of this are most common in South America and Africa.

For example, in Nigeria there were 143 attacks on journalists last year. If all you read on this matter were government press releases on the issue you got the impression that Islamic terrorists were responsible for most of this violence. But a careful perusal of the attacks as published in the media showed that the government (military, police, and so on) was responsible for 79 percent of the attacks and the Islamic terrorists only 16 percent.

Nigeria, like most nations with a lot of violence against journalists, also suffers from a lot of corruption. While this includes a lot of journalists being for sale, it also means cops and prosecutors are as well, and this makes it possible to kill and injure journalists with little fear (if you have the money for bribes and bodyguards) of reprisal. Not surprisingly, journalists, even those taking bribes, tend to be enthusiastic about eliminating corruption.

 

 


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