Defending Free Speech

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An unusual personal commentary from Scott Pelley, at the close of Friday’s CBS Evening News, is drawing lots of attention – in media circles – following the terror attacks last week in Paris.

As managing editor of the broadcast, Pelley has made an obvious effort to raise standards, focus on what CBS calls “original” (or 60 Minutes style) reporting, and on growing a strong and recognizable team of correspondents. Usually, this means there is very little room for the personal opinions of the anchor, making Friday’s commentary more remarkable.

Pelley said, “there is no Democracy without journalism,” and suggested terrorists understand this and it is why they have targeted journalists in their fight against western values they consider an affront to their religion. He tied last week’s attacks in France to the murders of 61 other journalists in 2014.