The media — the honest media, the media of integrity, the media that corrects its errors — do not traffic in fake news. They are not the enemy.
“Journalists are on the front lines in the battle against misinformation,” photojournalist Carl Juste told the Herald Editorial Board. “We are the first responders.”
Juste has not just had a front seat to history in the making; he has captured it so that readers see just what he sees — in Iraq, in Pakistan, in Afghanistan, in Haiti, and under pressure, sometimes life-threatening pressure. He is one of four journalists featured in “Endangered,” by documentarians Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady, and available on HBO Max, and we are proud to have him as a colleague.
Juste, along with Patrícia Campos Mello, a writer in Brazil; Mexican photographer Sáshenka Gutiérrez; and Oliver Laughland, a British reporter for The Guardian, each plunge into the rough-and-tumble, unpredictable anger of vociferous Trump supporters in 2020, of women in Mexico fed up with the disappearances and murders of their sisters, mothers and daughters — femicides; and of a self-righteous — disgusting — Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who accuses a dogged journalist of sleeping with sources for information against him.
They get maligned, arrested, sprayed with tear gas or in Juste’s case, wade into hostile crowds armed with only a camera.
“The only defense we have is our craft,” he says.
And the takeaway in each an every case is just how fragile democracies are — and the lengths to which many journalists will go to document it.
“When there is a dictator or a system run by a few, we’re the people they come after,” Juste says. “They come after the artists. They come after the truth tellers. They come after those who cannot defend themselves.”
Fake news? Don’t you believe it. The bullets and tear gas are real. The toe-to-toe hostility is in these journalists’ faces — literally. Take a look at “Endangered,” and see just how real the news can get.