Today is a sad day for journalists across the world.
The people who work for a satirical newspaper in Paris, “Charlie Hebdo,” were the victims of what François Hollande, the French president, is calling a terror attack.
According to the New York Times, three gunmen entered the “Charlie Hebdo” building and shot and killed 10 journalists, including the chief editor and graphic artist, along with two police officers.
This kind of attack is something I fear as a journalist, and something I’m sure every writer, designer and editor has had pass through their thoughts at some time.
But we are journalists. We are freedom of speech. We are the voice of the people. We are the watchdogs.
I am saddened and sickened by this attack, but it makes me want to stand up for what I believe in even more. Despite your politics, despite what you believe journalists are, we are part of the reason this whole democratic thing works.
I had planned to write something whimsical and fun today, but I have been inspired by this sad turn of events.
I must mention, also, the judgement some will endure because of these masked men. No matter what religion a person is, that does not mean they carried out this attack.
Not every person who practices Islam is an extremist. Not every one of them believe violence, control and the elimination of those who don’t share the same beliefs is the answer.
Hate leads to extremism. Let’s love one another. We must not let prejudice and fear cloud our judgement.
The victims, their families, friends and the people of Paris are in my thoughts. I hope they catch the culprits.
This attack has only emboldened journalists to continue what they do best: question everything.
I am a journalist. I am freedom of speech. Je suis Charlie.