100 articles – ‘The role of journalists in the freedom struggle’

1 July 2010

Written by: Lawrie Zion

The Role of Journalists in the freedom struggle‘ by Clinton Fernandes

Certainly the role of a journalist is to inform in an unbiased, factual way. However, I also believe that while respecting the above rule, journalists do have a responsibility to reveal injustice, contribute to public awareness and subsequently shape society for the better.

In this November 2009 article in the New Zealand publication Scoop, Clinton Fernandes reminds us of this responsibility through his discussion of the significant role that journalists have played in the East Timorese freedom struggle against the occupying Indonesian forces. His article is a response to the killing of Dutch journalist Sander Thoenes in 2009. However, he also recognizes the sacrifice of local and foreign journalists, such as the Balibo Five, murdered in 1975 as they attempted to make the world aware of the illegal Indonesian invasion.

Fernandes’ reflection on these journalists’ contributions to the East Timorese struggle reminds us that when journalists draw light to injustice it can bring about significant change.

Jane Hosking is a Master of Global Communications student at La Trobe University. This piece is part of the ‘100 articles’ project. To see the list so far or to learn more about the project, including how you can contribute to it, click here.