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Robertson School condemns killing of Saudi journalist

Oct 19, 2018

Posted in: News

We, the faculty and staff of the Richard T. Robertson School of Media and Culture, condemn the killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. We are joining professional journalism organizations in calling for a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding Khashoggi’s death.

Khashoggi, a 59-year-old journalist living in Northern Virginia as a permanent U.S. resident in self-imposed exile from Saudi Arabia, has not been seen since he visited the consulate on Oct. 2. Turkish authorities alleged that Khashoggi, who had written columns critical of the Saudi government, was murdered and his body dismembered. After initially denying those reports, Saudi Arabia confirmed Khashoggi’s death on Oct. 19.

The Robertson School endorsed a letter that the Society of Professional Journalists sent to the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Washington “urging a full investigation” into Khashoggi’s disappearance. More than 40 other professional journalism groups, including the Virginia Press Association, co-signed the letter after Khashoggi’s disappearance.

“The threat of violence, kidnapping or death to any journalist who is seeking the truth and reporting it is dangerous to freedom and democracy around the world,” the letter said.

Journalists speak truth to power; they hold people in power accountable and shine light on information that the public needs to know. At the Robertson School, we are appalled by today's climate of hostility toward journalists around the world. As we prepare our students to enter the journalism profession -- to report news accurately and fairly and to engage readers and viewers in discussing issues important to them -- we stand united beside our students as well as current journalists.