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Je Suis Charlie

 Published on: 14th January 2015   |   By: Nik Allen

It’s now a week since the terrorist attacks on Paris began with the murderous rampage at the Charlie Hebdo offices.

The shock may have subsided slightly but the anger I have over the attacks remains fresh.

These lunatics not only murdered people their deluded goal was to kill freedom of speech.

You may not have liked what Charlie Hebdo printed. You may have been disgusted by some of their cartoons BUT in democracies like France and the UK freedom of speech is a cornerstone of who we are and how we live.

Will this change? Will we be violently bullied into submission by murderous madmen? I doubt it.

Just look at this week’s Charlie Hebdo front cover for proof the staff there will not be silenced.

The editor of the magazine, Stephane Charbonnier, who was murdered in the attack, was the man making the decisions to publish the controversial cartoons. He was a brave man who defied death threats and living in fear.

Stephane Charbonnier

Stephane Charbonnier

I can relate to some of his decisions in the smallest of ways but by no means am I comparing myself to a man of his stature.

Every time a controversial story lands on my desk with the help of my team I have to make the decision whether we run it or not.

In the past we’ve published stories, especially crime related ones, which have led to me being called up by angry readers.

I’ve lost count of the times we’ve been threatened by an irate reader of an article but as long as what we report is factually correct we will publish it.

We’ve also had advertisers pull out of the magazine because they didn’t like a story we’ve reported on.

I’m proud of these incidents as they go to show we are sticking to our original promise to report the good, bad and ugly sides of life in the communities we serve.

What Stephane Charbonnier and his team did was to reinforce the right of freedom of speech and as long as we all hold onto that their tragic and senseless deaths will not be in vain.

Je Suis Charlie. If we believe in freedom of speech we are all Charlie.

Thanks for reading

Nik

1 Comment

  1. Susan key January 14th, 2015, 8:37 am

    Well said Nik.
    Freedom of speech is paramount to a democratic society.

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