Death threats. Racist taunts. Vows of violence. Inside the increasingly personal attacks targeting Canadian female journalists, and the journalists who stand between them and the media they want to cover, there are few safe spaces.
In the past few weeks, journalists have repeatedly encountered death threats, sexist taunts and racial epithets from strangers who wish to silence them; the threats are not limited to one country and have no connection to the work they do. Two journalists in Canada have been targeted and assaulted over the past year, and the perpetrators have gone unpunished. A third has been threatened with violence over a perceived sexist tweet.
Canadian journalists working in the U.S., meanwhile, have routinely been the target of death threats and racist, sexist and homophobic slurs originating in the Canadian media. These threats occur during the period when they are on the news, and many are made by complete strangers who appear to be aware that the journalist they’re attacking is one of them. In this post I’m providing the stories of two Canadian journalists, both of whom faced death threats over the course of their work, because of the work they were doing and the stories they were covering.
Canadian journalist targeted because she was an immigrant
There have been a number of threats on the life of journalist Lina Agnon, who has been working in the U.S. for almost 20 years. On January 10, 2018 Agnon received two threatening letters, one of which called on her to “go away,” while the other called on her to get “a job in the United States.” She received a phone call from a man, who told her he had sent the letters and that he would call back if she refused to cooperate. Agnon was told she was a “terrorist” and had to be “killed.”
Agnon then received a follow-up letter on January 30 that she received at her home with a return address that she could not provide—telling her, “I’ve decided that your death is imminent, and I know where you live! I’ll call you, and you can see—I’m waiting for you to show up.”
Agnon, however, did not show up on the scene. Three days later, on February 2, she