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People are barely being just when they claim that journalists are not important members of the society. The truth is that without journalists willing to sacrifice their time, comfort, and even lives to present the truth to the public, the world would be a dark circle of ignorance and chaos. Contrary to the belief that ignorance is bliss, being oblivious to the truth can destroy nations and oppress generations. The role of a faithful and diligent journalist is to uncover hidden conspiracies, corruptions, and injustices, and present them to the public. Even though objectivity is a key, biases are accepted when journalists must become the voices of the oppressed. In order to achieve this goal, many journalists lose their jobs, families and lives because evil opponents are always pushing them into submission. World Press Freedom Day was officially recognized in 1991 by the United Nations in order to raise awareness about the importance of honest journalism. The bigger aim of the May 3rd celebration is to look governments in the eyes and remind them that there are humanity’s dutiful heroes, who are ever watchful and that freedom of press may never be suppressed or denied.
Honored with the title of being the world’s most famous foreign correspondent, Robert Fisk is a British journalist, currently stationed in Beirut. The 65 years old harbors thirty years of experience and knowledge, specifically in international journalism, having covered all wars since the 1970s. Among his top achievements includes receiving the British Press International Journalist Award of the Year for seven years, being one of the few British and American journalists, who interviewed the notorious Osama Bin Laden and published an array of articles and books. Fisk’s main work has been in the Middle East, focusing on causes of contemporary conflicts in the area. He is known for his strict work ethics and disapproval of “hotel journalists”, who merely observe and write articles in hotel rooms, the articles that are devoid of any interviews.
His main agenda includes “challenging authority, all authority, especially when the governments and politicians take us to war.” Robert is qualified with a PhD in Political Science from the TrinityCollege in Dublin and is a regular writer for The Independent. Fisk is also known for his viewpoints regarding the September 11 attacks and his opposition to the American conservative government parties. Documenting his war experiences in written works such as “Pity the Nation”, a book about witnessing the Lebanon war, Fisk gives a firsthand account on the diligence and losses towards international democracy. With noble goals of doing his share of work to spread western democracy around the globe, Fisk believes that journalists need to be in the place of action and actively work alongside the common men in order to promote the democratic values. These goals have taken Fisk to Lebanon, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan, where he did not lose hope, despite undergoing physical abuse, stating that:
“(The attackers’) brutality was entirely the product of others, of us - of we who had armed their struggle against the Russians and ignored their pain and laughed at their civil war and then armed and paid them again for the “War for Civilization” just a few miles away and then bombed their homes and ripped up their families and called them “collateral damage” (The Independent).
Fisk has an active commitment to aiding the public in uncovering truths about the corruption and injustices of the oppressors. In fact, his work reflects his main goal of helping the oppressed, not mattering who they are. A passionate enemy against corruption, Fisk openly speaks about corrupt leaders and lies hidden from the average citizen. It is his courage and lack of fear which continues to be Fisk’s secret weapon of fighting the war against injustice, specifically in the Middle Eastern regions. One of Fisk’s famous quotes is: “A journalist’s task is to tell the truth”, which has been applauded and awarded as critics see his continuous service to humanity, even when he is forced to face death and hysteria. It is because of heroes like Robert Fisk that a democratic balance remains, in which people are able to question their leaders and raise their voices while taking action in the face of human rights violations.