TODAY, journalists around the globe are in the line of fire for simply doing their job. A total of 90 journalists were killed worldwide in 2008. And the number of those arrested by various governments go up to hundreds, which underscores the fact that they are indeed between a rock and a hard place. On the one hand, there are repressive regimes, which hate to hear independent voices exposing their misdeeds, and on the other, there are non-state actors and terrorist outfits threatening them with dire consequences for telling the truth. The circumstances had never been so adverse, a view supported in a report by Freedom House, which says that press freedom has declined to an unprecedented level all over the globe. One is alarmed by the situation prevailing in Pakistan where journalists especially because of their coverage of war on terror have to face numerous threats. It is counted among the most dangerous places for journalists. Sadly enough, it was none other than General Musharraf who claimed to have given the media its rightful place, in whose tenure, draconian laws to undermine free media were introduced. A number of media men who were critical of his regime were put behind bars. With a change of government, the laws have been repealed because of which independent observers take the view that press in Pakistan is more robust than that of India's but somehow threats to their safety continue to exist. The death of 15 Pakistani journalists killed last year bears testimony to the insecure conditions under which they work. The Taliban are publicly threatening the media with dire consequences, if any report is published against them. The right to inform and express ideas freely forms the core of any democratic society. One must hail the fact that the journalist community by and large has refused to sacrifice its conscience. They must be protected against threats of all sorts; otherwise the objective of a just and free society will remain an elusive ideal.