This remarkable story is ongoing as the friend of journalist James Karl Buck still appears to be detained in Egypt after helping report on food riots and unrest there. Mohammed Maree is missing as of Saturday Morning, last seen after a second and unauthorized detention by police. Buck was released and is back in the USA.
Why this matters: Many would reasonably ask me why I would focus on this single individual after writing so often that we should use math and reason to allocated our time and funding to the masses who suffer under the yolk of poverty and disease, mostly in the developing world. I’m not sure I’m being consistent here because I do have an intellectual bias towards writers and journalists, but I believe that online journalism of the type done by James Buck and Mohammed Maree represents a very important change in news and communication and a very positive one. Without this type of reporting much of the world’s news – already severely distorted by the buffoonery of media pundits and commercial fluff –goes unreported. Citizen journalists acting like this and reporting like this will play an increasingly powerful role in how we collect and react to the massive informaiton flow all over the world. It’s up to all of us to protect and encourage them, and to make sure that authorities respect the fact that their role is not to harass, detain, or manage those who report – rather to protect them in the same way they usually seek to protect all citizens.