It’s reassuring that the authorities were quick to arrest a suspected arsonist who set fire to a Paphos journalist’s car on March 19th. It’s not only that the police moved quickly to investigate a crime but that they defended press freedom by their diligence.
Marios Ignatiou’s wife’s car was gutted by a fire after a criminal defendant took exception to reports on their website PafosPress.com. The police arrested a 35-year-old who is involved in a serious criminal case.
Any attempts to muzzle the press and media freedom should be handled equally quickly and responsibly. This publication notes that the police took quick action and should be commended for standing by the reporters who risk their health and safety by writing and presenting stories that go against powerful interests or criminal groups and individuals.
The Fourth Estate serves a valuable role by protecting society against abuses of power and by reporting or commenting on issues that are detrimental to society. To do that effectively, reporters and media outlets need to feel secure that they are free to write what they want provided it is based on facts, avoids conflicts of interest and serves the public interest.