Freedom of speech

Humour and satire can be touchy subjects for some.

Humour and satire can be touchy subjects for some. Being the subject of a joke or prank sometimes has an uncomfortable sting, especially when the target cannot laugh at themselves.

Mash journalism and humour together, throw in a dash of political or religious gun powder and you’ve got a recipe for disaster — at least in the case of Charlie Hebdo last week in Paris when masked gunmen stormed the offices of the newspaper and executed 12 people.

Being so convicted that one would don a mask and invade a quiet newspaper office, guns strapped to their backs with full intention of causing harm, now that’s angry. Charlie Hebdo is a newspaper with advertisers, reporters and cartoonists — features, editorials, stories and columns like any other printed paper in the world. Their job was to be humourous about global events, politics and religion. A risky business, but not illegal.

It takes great courage to publicly state unpopular or controversial opinions. All journalists are soldiers in a way; their weapons are keyboards. Getting the stories and then sharing the facts, the opinions and the news for their readers, listeners and viewers — that is what a journalist does. Most of the stories told about this tragedy have been sure to indicate that the views of Charlie Hebdo were “satirical.” Does this suggest that there was something about their work which warranted the ambush? Because they were poking fun at one group or another, that the deaths are more “understandable” or “justified.”

Freedom of expression and freedom of speech are more than just guaranteed rights or ambivalent concepts to be taken for granted in many parts of the free world.

 

Just Posted

Born 1 pound, 11 ounces, Winlaw premature baby comes home

Indra Greaves was born at the Nelson hospital after just 24 weeks of gestation

Rebels beef up blueline as trade deadline closes

Tyson Soobotin, 18, was playing for the Nelson Leafs, and Elijah Havers, 17, joins the team from the Coyotes in Osooyoos

Scammers using Castlegar home for rental fraud

Local realtors say the problem is happening more frequently with their properties

Updated: Outbreak prompts advisory for visitors to extended care wing in Trail hospital

A respiratory infection has been active in Poplar Ridge Pavilion since Monday, advises IH

Trail area homicide investigation continues

Jan. 14 marked one year since Jordan Workman was discovered in the trunk of a burnt car

REPLAY: B.C’s best videos this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the replay-worth highlights from this week across the province

Patriots make 3rd straight Super Bowl, beat Chiefs 37-31 in OT

New England will meet L.A. Rams in NFL title game

Pettersson returns to lead Canucks to 3-2 win over Red Wings

Vancouver’s super rookie has 2 points in first game back after knee injury

Skaters stranded in Saint John, NB, amid storm on last day of championships

More than half of the flights out of the city’s airport were cancelled due to the weather

Call for tighter bail rules after Saudi sex-crime suspect vanishes

Mohammed Zuraibi Alzoabi was facing charges related to alleged sexual assault, criminal harassment, assault and forcible confinement of a woman

12 poisoned eagles found on Vancouver Island

Improper disposal of euthanized animal suspected

Olympic softball qualifier to be held in B.C.

Tournament is to be held Aug. 25 to Sept. 1

B.C. resident creates global sport training program

The 20 hour course teaches the science and application of interval training at the university level

B.C. VIEWS: Fact-checking the NDP’s speculation tax on empty homes

Negative-option billing is still legal for governments

Most Read