Charlie Hebdo 2015 and the shocking state of Journalism


Brett Pizzi, Opinion Editor

By now, everyone has heard of the tragedy that occurred in France. Two terrorists who didn’t agree with images they believed were anti-religious attacked Charlie Hebdo, a weekly satire news magazine. With 12 individuals killed, including one of the head editors, January 7th was a tragic day for the journalism world.

From then on, it has been rising emotions and tensions from the people of France. This was considered an attack on free speech as much as it was an attack on the people of the magazine.

While satire is a method to poke fun issues using comedy, the main point of satire is to inform. Whether individuals laugh or feel offended, it allows them to become aware more of the important issues of the day. While everyone might not agree with the usage of satire in news, the effectiveness of its use is undeniable.

So what does this mean for journalism? As of lately, certain terror groups have made it known that they don’t agree with news coverage or what journalists have to say. But this hasn’t stopped news outlets. Even Charlie Hebdo, a local magazine in the Paris area, produced over five million copies of its magazine after the event, increasing their distribution area, and increasing their amount of readers.

It’s clear that the citizens of France aren’t going to let this affect them. On January tenth and eleventh, rallies and gatherings took place with over 3.7 million people and several world leaders gathering to show free speech couldn’t be stopped. It is clear that even when they get knocked down, the journalists and citizens of France aren’t ready to relent to demands of a terrorist group.

So what does this mean for journalism as a whole? Are journalists going to be more cautious as to what they will be posting, or is this the time to continue with free speech? As seen by the Charlie Hebdo magazine, terrorist attacks won’t force them to shut down. Free speech is more important than ever, and even in the case of satire, it needs to be shown by journalists all over the world that one attack isn’t enough to silence a group.