Marty Baron: a journalist can't be servile to the authorities, to be their tube
The truth is still of great importance. Perhaps more than ever. Especially in democracy - says Marty Baron, former editor-in-chief of The Washington Post, who in 2017 introduced the official slogan of the newspaper "Democracy Dies in Darkness”, and the legendary editor-in-chief of The Boston Globe at a time when - 20 years ago - a group of investigative journalists exposed the biggest pedophile scandal in the American Catholic Church, as pictured in the "Spotlight" movie. The film won two Oscars and over 30 other film awards. While Marty Baron was the editor-in-chief of The Boston Globe, the newspaper won six Pulitzer Awards. He retired in February this year. How would he describe the current situation of free media in Poland? - The pressure on you is greater than the pressure we have been subjected to in the past. The government is trying to control the media on a scale unheard of in the United States. Ours could also meet it, but during the Trump rule, only rhetorical tricks were used, while in Poland attempts are made to deny the media the right to capital, income and access to information. (...) Such methods are appropriate when building regimes, because they control and then eliminate public debate and the right to freedom of expression - he argues. Disturbing - says Marty Baron - that in democratic countries citizens believe that independent journalism has been given to them once and for all. Marty Baron also talks about why democracy dies in darkness, whether during his many years of work he wanted to give up his fight for the truth and whether he imagines the world without independent journalism. - Unfortunately, I can imagine it. This means the end of democracy, because democracy cannot exist without an independent press. This is why regimes shut down free media first. They silence independent voices, and that means restricting freedom of expression and shutting the mouths of individuals. This is what autocrats are all about - says Baron.