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Can A Journalist Throw Shoes To A Leader?

Iraqi journalist Muntadar al-Zaidi (Muntazer al-Zeidi) is back to house after serving nine months in jail. He threw his shoes to George W Bush when the US president was addressing a press conference at the Iraqi capital Baghdad. This morning I have seen a Bangladeshi newspaper has published the news. The title is Arabian Hero Is Back. I was engaged in a fierce debate last year when I wrote a reaction about the shoe-throwing incident for my newspaper. Some of my colleagues were so excited that they informed the matter to their friends and family members by phone. But I raised a question with some of my colleagues- can a journalist throw his shoes to a leader or is it fair for a journalist?

Sometimes we are very emotional and react too much. I have got some invitation to join Facebook groups in favor of that Iraqi journalist. Yes, most of the members of those groups celebrated the show-throwing incident. They also identified him as the real hero who can throw shoes to the most powerful leader of this world. But I was concerned about some issues.

So far I know that journalists generally get some privileges and indemnity. They can work at the battlefield and generally they are not supposed to be targeted by any of the conflicting groups. But if they identify them selves biased towards any group probably they will not get that indemnity. If any journalist is identified as risky for the security of any leader probably he or his security officials will not allow that journalist to be present in front of him.

Journalists some times know the distress of suffers. I know some cases where journalists have contacted with the leaders personally to solve the problems of the sufferers. They have done that beyond their job responsibilities. I also believe that has become possible for this profession, which has access to all classes of the society. But becoming too emotional and throwing shoes to a leader is unexpected. It does not matter whether the leader is popular or unpopular. I believe that people involving with this profession cannot do that. If a journalist throws shoes by identifying a leader as an enemy what will he do when he will meet with a notorious criminal? Possibly the journalist will not be allowed to beat that criminal to remove his anger. I think that generally journalists cannot be part of any news. They will follow the situation and present that in front of the readers and followers. Pen, information, documents or news can be the weapon of journalist. Shoe cannot be his weapon.

It is true that journalists do not live out of the society. They suffer the same pain and troubles as other people faces. According to Wikipedia, Al-Zaidi’s reports often focused on the plight of widows, orphans, and children in the Iraq war. May be when he had found the main organizer of that war in front of him, he could not keep his emotion undisclosed. Some Iraqi people have also supported his action and marched to make him free. I have seen the celebration of Iraqi people (see cnn report at youtube) as he is coming out from jail. Some organizations also demanded to make him free.

Al-Zaidi have made allegation of torture after coming out from jail. The incidents are mixture of complexities and controversies. I cannot undermine the sentiment of Al- Zaidi and ordinary Iraqi people who are the sufferer of invasion and war. But he has misused his access and accreditation rights by throwing shoes. I would be happy if Al-Zaidi were a member of any other community except journalist. Journalists especially from third world countries may face trouble for access or accreditation for his misdeed. I will again say it would be better if Al-Zaidi were not a journalist.

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September 16, 2009 - Posted by | Media, Personal | , ,

3 Comments »

  1. […] member of any other community except journalist,” comments Bangladeshi blogger and journalist Mahadi754. Cancel this […]

    Pingback by Global Voices Online » Bangladesh: Can A Journalist Throw Shoes To A Leader? | September 24, 2009 | Reply

  2. […] “I cannot undermine the sentiment of Al- Zaidi and ordinary Iraqi people who are the sufferer of invasion and war. But he has misused his access and accreditation rights by throwing shoes. I would be happy if Al-Zaidi were a member of any other community except journalist,” comments Bangladeshi blogger and journalist Mahadi754. […]

    Pingback by Bangladesh: Can A Journalist Throw Shoes To A Leader? | Pastoon | September 24, 2009 | Reply

  3. Many thanks to the writer. I think every body should respect his own profession. Was there any exciting matter to create a scene by any gentle man? So-called journalist Muntadar al-Zaidi did a great misconduct who didn’t maintain his profesionalism. It was not a matter of exciting but to hate Zahidi for his miscunduct to a President of the world’s largest country.

    Comment by Is Al-Zaidi a journalist? | November 17, 2009 | Reply


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