Steely eyed glares, unblinking courage and an unyielding determination to seek justice sounds like the essential qualities that you would need to be Jack McCoy’s Assistant DA on the long running, award winning procedural police drama Law and Order.

Being beautiful as well never hurt.

That is television. This is not.

Those above qualities seem to describe a young woman who is making a name for herself around the globe because of her outstanding dedication to her job, exceptional reporting skills and in part because she’s in an occupation where more and more of her colleagues are being arrested, thrown in jail or murdered.

The team at share, “Gianna Toboni is a producer and is a correspondent working across VICE News Tonight — the Emmy award-winning half-hour nightly newscast and the multi-award-winning VICE on HBO weekly current affair series. Before joining VICE in 2013, she worked as a correspondent at Al Jazeera and as a producer for ABC News.”

On December 30, 2017, posted at news, at least 81 reporters were killed doing their jobs in 2017, while violence and harassment against media staff has skyrocketed, according to the world’s biggest organization for journalists.

In its annual “kill report,” seen by The Associated Press, the International Federation of Journalists said the reporters lost their lives in targeted killings, car bomb attacks and crossfire incidents around the world.

More than 250 journalists were in prison in 2017.

Unfortunately as reported by the New York Times on June 28, 2018, “A man armed with a shotgun and smoke grenades stormed into the newsroom of a community newspaper chain in Maryland’s capital on Thursday afternoon, killing five staff members, injuring two others and prompting law enforcement agencies across the country to provide protection at the headquarters of media organizations.”

It’s hard to believe that in a time when the world should be becoming more enlightened, it seems to be accelerating in the opposite direction.

Gianna is there to tell us about it, up close and often at great peril.

Ms. Toboni hosted and produced documentaries on topics ranging from the legacy of the Guantanamo Bay detention center; mixed martial arts as an alternative therapy for war veterans; climate change and its effect on polar bears; among others.

It’s because of her in depth reporting in a time when so many major media outlets are giving us only 30 second to 3 minute sound bites, so refreshing it is when someone breaks the trend and provides us with the substantial in depth reporting that we actually desire.

No, make that crave.

We have become addicted to watching Vice.

Ms. Gianna was born on July 14, 1988 in San Francisco, California.

She later attended and graduated from New York University.

During her college days, Gianna worked as an intern. She fulfilled responsibilities as a booker, field producer and a digital correspondent for ABC News.

After leaving her job at the ABC, Gianna started raising money to fund her ambitious long-form documentary based in Haiti.

To the shock of many, the documentary exposed the sexual abuse of women and children by the United Nations personnel known as Peacekeepers Turned Perpetrators.

“Trust is the most important aspect of being a journalist. If people don’t trust or find you relatable – you will not have success.”… Gretchen Carlson

She is very good friends with her co-worker Isobel Yeung., article, credit

The pair of globe-trotting female journalists have covered numerous stories from over 20 countries.

Her friends at HBO are happy to provide us with Isobel’s bio as well. “Isobel Yeung is an award-winning correspondent working across VICE News Tonight, the Emmy award-winning half-hour nightly newscast, and the multi-award-winning VICE on HBO documentary series.

She joined VICE in 2014 after working in China for four years, where she reported and developed shows for several Asian and U.K. TV channels, and wrote for notable international publications including The Guardian, The Telegraph, The Independent and South China Morning Post.

At VICE News Tonight, Yeung was the first foreign correspondent to embed with coastguards in Libya’s migrant smuggling epicenter and meet the migrants caught up in the system. Yeung has covered a wide range of global stories at VICE, including recent coverage of the aftermath in a fragile Philippine community where ISIS laid siege, the crippling state of Assad-controlled Syria, and the Islamic State’s impact on Iraq’s youth. Yeung has been nominated for an Emmy award and has won a Gracie and Front Page award for elevating Afghan women’s rights struggles that fell out of the headlines.”

Extremely impressive.

Isobel took early risks and worked as a journalist in China for over four years.

How risky can things get for someone like Yeung?

On April 11, 2016, Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty reported, “A new documentary that explores the rights of women in Afghanistan features a clip in which a member of parliament appears to threaten his female interviewer with rape. The apparent threat from leading cleric and lawmaker Nazir Ahmad Hanafi is made during a testy interview conducted by Isobel Yeung, a reporter for the documentary series Vice on HBO.”

Testy is the operative word in the field of journalism in a modern world that seems to spawning strong men and dictators.

Why is this trend increasing? It seems in virtually every part of the world where there were once democracies with governmental checks and balances, now there is one dictatorship or the resemblance to one in one place after another.

Some insight is provided at National Public Radio.

NPR’s Ari Shapiro talks with Larry Diamond of Stanford University about this global democratic recession.

What was Mr. Diamond’s opinion? “The whole spectrum of regimes in the world is moving in the wrong direction. Liberal democracies, I’d say, including ours, are under pressure of becoming less liberal, less tolerant.

These countries perceive that in contrast to earlier arrows and I’d say the predominant weight of international influence in the post-Cold War world until a few years ago where if they were blatant in their reversal of democracy, the U.S. and the European Union would call them out. There might be consequences for aid. There might be consequences for our symbolic relationship. They wouldn’t be welcome at the White House.

But they increasingly perceive, I think correctly, that they can do whatever they want, they can repress and arrest and even murder whoever they want, they can rule as nastily as they want. And in particular, the most powerful democracy in the world, the United States, is not going to express concern or deliver consequences in terms of our bilateral relationship.”

One could surmise that now more than ever we need journalists who willing to place themselves at risk to somehow send the story back to the rest of us.

What they do and the benefits that they serve to the world should not be taken for granted. There seems to be less and less of them.

That decrease is understandable. Look at how some of them are dying.

Sayed Mehdi Hosaini – Afghanistan – Killed in an IS suicide bombing

Gumaro Pérez Aguilando – Mexico – Shot dead at his son’s Christmas pageant

Naveen Gupta – India – Shot by 5 assailants

Arkan Sharifi (camera man) – Iraq – Stabbed to death by 8 masked men in his own house

Daphne Caruana Galizia – Malta – Killed by a remotely detonated bomb planted in her car

Dimitri Popkov – Russia – Shot 5 times in his back in his own backyard by unknown assailant

We will stop here but the list is incredibly long.

What would our world be like without risk taking journalists who, imperfect though they may be, try and provide us with important truths at great cost?

It’s too terrifying to even think of.

We are so glad and appreciative for reporters like Isobel and Gianna., article, Vice photo credit

They absolutely make the world a more informed place.

What keeps them going? What keeps them from getting burned out? What prevents them from simply giving up in a world that often doesn’t appreciate what they are doing and the incredible sacrifices that they are making?

Isobel answered that question very well in her interview along with Gianna at “These stories are all around you, because you’re drawing inspiration from exactly what you’re living. But it’s important to surround yourself with people you love, talk the stories through, and talk about irrelevant things as well. It’s an important part of healing.

I actually think that because of the suffering that we see, because of the people that we talk to, it gives you a really incredible perspective as to how fortunate we are.”

For those of us who cherish freedom and democracy, we are so fortunate to have both of them.

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OPENING PHOTO, article, Vice photo credit via