At a time when American journalists whine about being called names, their “integrity” being challenged, and even being immortalized for unprofessionalism, the task of gathering and disseminating news is much more hazardous (if not deadly) in other parts of the world.
Iraq is one of the world’s most dangerous countries for journalists, who are targeted by gunmen with pro-government militias, and by militant opposition groups including Islamic State, which has embarked on a war of territorial conquest in Iraq. The murders of journalists go unpunished and, if investigations are opened, they yield no result. In Iraqi Kurdistan, a region experiencing a great deal of economic and social tension, journalists have to work in a very politicized environment, and has become a dangerous place for independent journalists. Generally speaking, the Middle East and North Africa is ranked by Freedom House to be only 5% free. NRT TV was founded by Nalia Media Corporation’s Shaswar A. Qadir in 2011 and days later was burnt to the ground by armed terrorists. Because of Shaswar’s dedication to open press and his sacrifices, it has resumed broadcasting and has continued to grow, gaining a reputation as the only independent media station for all of Kurdistan and Iraq.
— National Press Club, 5/30/17
Shaswar A. Qadir spoke at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. and described his efforts to bring information to his region of Kurdistan; efforts that resulted in the arson of his television station, assassination attempts, and detention of his journalists.
Qadir’s perspectives on the true role of the media is refreshing; a role many American “journalists” truly need a refresher course on.