It is not easy to be a journalist in the Middle East.
The Middle East / North Africa (MENA) region is the only part of the world which does not have a single country with a full free press. This compares to Western Europe which does not have a single country without a free press according to Freedom House.
The profession has become much more dangerous as seen by the murders of two American journalists in Iraq by ISIS in August and September 2014. Some 70 journalists were killed around the world in 2013, the majority in volatile Muslim countries including: Syria; Iraq; Egypt; Pakistan; and Somalia.
Journalists lucky to be alive are often intimidated in their coverage (Gaza) or jailed (Turkey, Egypt and China).
Free press is only part of the problem in the region. There is virtually no freedom of assembly or freedom of speech. Protests in many cities around the world have been halted by government crackdowns – including in the United Kingdom and the United States.
Curiously, academia, which prides itself in freedom of expression, has singled out Israel for BDS (Boycott, Divestment & Sanction). Israel ranks far ahead of any country in the MENA region in every category of freedom of press, speech and assembly (Israel ranked #64 globally compared to the Palestinian Authority #182).
Free speech music video (Coldplay):
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/nov/25/quebec-spain-anti-protest-laws-democracyEgypt jailing: http://fsrn.org/2014/06/egypt-sentences-journalists-confirms-mass-death-sentences-squelches-protests/
killing Steven Sotloff: http://www.politico.com/story/2014/09/isil-steven-sotloff-110520.html