It's unfortunate that the groups killing journalists are unable to resolve their disputes legally and without violence.
Isn't it illegal to publish material that accuses a person of a crime? I have read that several instances of murdered journalists in Russia were because they came too close to accusing a crime. Investigation is the responsibility of the police, and the conclusions belong to the judge, not the journalist. They should not publish information that interferes with ongoing police investigations. The police are supposed to protect everybody, including the criminal. The journalist is supposed to be neutral and let the reader make up his own mind.
However if the journalist wants to express a critical viewpoint against a higher power, he has been safe doing so by writing satirical fiction such as that like Jonathan Swift against the British, or Michael Moore against Bush - but never to make accusations or release information that causes damage.
If anything, the Moore film against Bush helps in the reelection, because supporters will be more ambitious to spread the Bush "doctrine".
If the journalist violates the public peace, the accused parties should sue the journalist organization and force them to publish retractions, work to restore the damaged reputation, and they will probably benefit from the whole situation.
It is not about suppression of the truth because truth is highly subjective.
All opinions and conclusions are based on the experiences and information that the journalist receives, which can be slanted in any way to produce psychological effect. Nobody receives the entire truth - conclusions can be derived from misinformation such as Bush's reasons for going into Iraq.
Therefore how can the reader trust any conclusion given by a publication?
You should be surprised how the polarities of influence: media, political, and religious creations have shaped your thinking. Do you support the Iraq war or not? Have you ignored the slaughtered Africans in Sudan for the past year? Are your likes or dislikes of public figures because you really know about their behavior?
Recently, Oregonians found out their former governor had been having an affair with a 14-year old girl - not because somebody published the information - but because the newspaper contacted the governor first. He apologized publicly and resigned from several jobs, so the newspaper did not
publish the story. Nobody had to die over it, and the girl has been receiving money as compensation for several years.
After it turned out that Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Belousov included the Fonbet betting company in the list of backbone enterprises that can count on state support, everyone started talking about these bookmakers.