Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Freedom of Press: The Sitting Duck by Balthazar Rodrigue Nzomono-Balenda

Balthazar uses poetry as a tool in his book, Freedom of Press: The Sitting Duck to express himself about circumstances journalists can face when they do their reporting in their own countries or overseas. He was inspired by CNN’s Christiane Amanpour’s message on Youtube about journalists getting kidnapped, tortured or even killed for their works. He learned that most of the time, journalists are silenced by killers who are hired by those who cannot stand the idea of an independent press. In more than 85% of cases, no one was ever arrested or convicted for a crime. Balthazar agrees with Christiane Amanpour about CPJ’s advocacy making a difference because he believes that in a healthy society, freedom of press is part of a reporter’s rights to express themselves freely. Even though Balthazar is not a journalist nor interested in journalism, his objectives with this book, Freedom of press the sitting duck is to relate situations journalists face while doing their work, and others who may have different occupations but deal with similar situations: Human Rights activists, Greenpeace activists, authors, freedom fighters, bloggers, aid workers, NGOs etc. Balthazar’s approach is that journalists are also people who have a right to their profession. The message, which he gives to his readers, is that in our Western societies, we must not take freedom of press for granted. He believes that CPJ must keep fighting for justice against murderers who have walked away from their wordings with impunity. Peace without justice is like setting yourself unrealistic goals.

Balthazar Rodrigue Nzomono-Balenda is not only an author and a poet, but also a student, multimedia designer and translator. His previous books include The Depth of My Soul and The Struggle for Power and the Fight for Survival. Balthazar became interested in poetry in 2003 when he wasn’t satisfied with the way things were going in his early studies and in the Danish society. His latest book is Freedom of Press: The Sitting Duck. You can visit Balthazar on the web at

You may read an exceprt from Balthazar's latest collection at

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