Book Releases

Tempting Fate (Colorado High Country #4) —
Chaska Belcourt’s story will be out at the end of June. Head back to Scarlet Springs for more Rocky Mountain Search & Rescue Team adventures and more humor and sexy romance. The book will be available in ebook and paperback.


Barely Breathing (A Colorado High Country Novel) — The first book in my new Colorado High Country series is now on 99 cents! This new contemporary series is set in the small mountain community of Scarlet Springs and focuses on the lives and loves of members of an alpine search and rescue team.


About Me

My photo
I grew up in Colorado at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, then lived in Denmark and traveled throughout Europe before coming back to Colorado. I have two adult sons, whom I cherish. I started my writing career as a columnist and investigative reporter and eventually became the first woman editor of two different papers. Along the way, my team and I won numerous state and several national awards, including the National Journalism Award for Public Service. In 2011, I was awarded the Keeper of the Flame Lifetime Achievement Award for Journalism. Now I write historical romance and contemporary romantic suspense.

Members

Seductive Musings

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Support the free press — hug a journalist


The Freedom Forum Journalists Memorial honors journalists who've died while trying to expose the truth.

Today, May 3, is World Press Freedom Day, an international day intended to draw attention to the eroding freedom of the press worldwide and to the important work journalists do, sometimes at great cost to themselves. Some are harassed and threatened. Some are imprisoned. Some experience violence. And some are killed.

Those of you who've followed the I-Team series, which is in part based on my own work as an investigative journalist, understand by now that being a reporter can be dangerous. I jokingly tell people that I went in to journalism not understanding that it was a contact sport. It's a joke, and yet it's kind of not funny.

When I wrote Extreme Exposure, I dedicated the book to the 1,400 or so journalists who'd died in the line of duty. The number of slain journalists is now at least 1,913.

Far too often these days when we think of "media," we think of mainstream media that doesn't do its job, or we think of paparazzi-type reportage that involves chasing people and invading their lives to bring the public news that doesn't matter. Rarely do people think of those reporters who toil away, day in and day out, doing the hard work of muckraking — digging and researching in order to protect our freedom by acting as a watchdog on government and those in power.

In my own tiny way, I've tried to fight the good fight. I have friends who still fight the good fight, some of whom you may have seen on TV or heard on the radio, telling about injustices they've exposed. All the investigative reporters I know have, at times, been threatened. I've had two stalkers, one of whom threatened to kill me with an AK-47 and who sent me letters detailing where I went and what I said to the cashier at the gas station, etc. If it's like that for us here in the U.S., imagine what it's like in other countries.

So today while enjoying your beautiful spring Sunday, take a second to remember reporters around the world, some of whom are languishing in prison cells for the crime of telling the truth.

And, Michael, congrats for making it onto Colorado Public Radio with the program about PTSD and soldiers at Fort Carson. You rock.

Coming soon: I-Team hero interviews and more Naked Edge excerpts!

15 comments:

Barbara said...

(((((SUPER HUGS))))))

I don't know how you do it. I could NEVER handle that sort of stress. Not only do you have your job to worry about but also crazy lunatics out to get you because you're doing your job? No, I couldn't do it.

But I will say that I give immense credit to all those who do brave it so that we can know the truth about what is going on in the world. Not only does it take talent but apparently some serious levels of bravery as well.

Another (((((BIG HUGS))))) to one of my favorites :)

Thanks, Barbara. I accept the hugs gratefully. I probably make it sound more dramatic than it is. In some parts of the world — Mexico, for example, or Iraq — being a journalist is extremely risky. Here in Colorado, it entails the occasional confrontation. The last murder of a journalist in Colorado happened in the early 80s, I believe. The things that have happened to me have been spread out over a 15-year career. It's not like that every day.

The last time anyone did anything remotely threatening to me was November 2005, when a guy came to the paper claiming to have explosives and brandishing a handgun. He came into my office, yelled in my face, and I told him to the get hell out. And that was that.

I think it does take some courage to be a journalist, if for no other reason that you're constantly asking people questions they don't want to answer. Most of the time, the negative responses we get are limited to profanity shouted over the phone or in e-mails.

As much as I've wanted to go to Iraq, I'm not sad that it didn't work out. Right now, I want to go to Uganda/Congo to report on the impact of violence on women and children there. I have absolutely NO desire to go to Mexico and report on the whole border drug war there. Uh-uh. Nope. Right now, that's probably the most dangerous place to be a reporter. So, see, I can be a chicken when I set my mind to it. :-)

But, yes, journalists take big risks sometimes just to do their jobs. I was enraged a couple weeks ago when the Iranian courts sentenced an American journalist to prison for "spying." Give me a break! I hope she is freed soon!

Debbie H said...

Major hugs to my wonderful friend and journalist! I know you have put yourself on the line many a time to bring the truth to print.

Take care of yourself. I want you around for a long time.

Hi, Debbie H — Thanks so much! I really appreciate it. I want to be around for a long time, too. :-)

Pamela

Michael de Yoanna said...

Pam,
Thanks for mentioning me in this blog post. There are loads of reasons to hug a journalist these days. Much appreciated and a big hug to you.

You've more than earned your hug, Michael. And you're welcome!

So, all of you lurking...

Michael was part of the Dream Team upon which the I-Team is based. Out of all of us, he's one of the few still doing investigative reporting, and at this point he's probably doing the most ambitious journalistic work. I've alway adored him and now I'm amazed by him.

Pamela

Lucy said...

I stress out in a bookstore for goodness sake! LOL. Just imagine how badly I'd cope as a journalist!
I greatly admire journalists and consider myself very fortunate to have befriended a few.
Welcome Michael! We have some good journos here too but I don't think they have such a hard time as you guys do over there.

Take care... both of you :)

I truly appreciate and admire and respect journalists who put their lives on the line to bring us the truth. In many ways they get a bad rap sometimes, but they are to be admired and respected. My heart goes out to those families who have lost their loved ones. The world can be a cruel place.

Oh and since there are not journalists around me to hug - I shall hug you.
((((((Pamela)))))))

Debbie H said...

Hi, Michael!!! Big (((HUGS))) to you, too! Take care of yourself, K?

Linda A. said...

"The truth will make you free", but sometimes that truth comes at a high cost. I can't imagine what it would be like to be a reporter in Mexico right now. Hugs to you, Pamela, and my thanks to all the unseen journalists out there trying to keep those in power honest.

Luci said...

Hugs to you and to all the journalists who are in the line of fire each day to bring us the news :). You are all amazing!

Anonymous said...

Hi Pamela and Michael! I know I would never have been able to cope as a journalist...Not brave enough.
Big hugs to both of you.
stef

haleigh said...

Hi Pamela and Michael - virtual hugs for the journalists. Or rather, seeing as how I'm posting on Cinco de Mayo instead of World Press Freedom Day, I'm passing around virtual margaritas :)

It's such a necessary job, that ends up with a bad rap, in spite of the amazing job you guys do. Kudos!

Christi said...

I think it is great to have honest trustworthy journalists out there. you do your profession proud. [I, myself, am way to opinionated to be unbiased on some things. Better left to the professionals
:-)]

Like, Haleigh, i am a day behind, sorry. Felize Cinco de Mayo!
Christi

Post a Comment

Follow Me

Search

Seduction Game

Follow by Email

Blog Archive

Labels

Favorite Writing Quotes


"I am an artist. I am here to live out loud."
—Emile Zola

"I am tomorrow, or some future day, what I establish today. I am today what I established yesterday or some previous day."
—James Joyce

"Let other pens dwell on guilt and misery."
—Jane Austen

"Writers are those for whom writing is more difficult that it is for others."
—Ernest Hemingway

"When I write, I feel like an armless, legless man with a crayon in his mouth."
—Kurt Vonnegut

"The ability of writers to imagine what is not the self, to familiarize the strange and mystify the familiar is the test of their power."
—Toni Morrison

"No tears in the author, no tears in the reader."
—Robert Frost.

"I'm a writer. I give the truth scope."
—the character of Chaucer in
A Knight's Tale