By Jim Melwert

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Following a terrorist attack at a satirical magazine in Paris, France on Wednesday that killed 12 people, KYW Newsradio spoke with communications experts in Philadelphia.

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“This attack is outrageous by any modicum we use to evaluate it,” says Doctor Barbie Zelizer, a professor at Penn’s Annenberg School for Communication. “”If we can’t use the different arts of expression to address what’s going on in the public sphere, then the very fundamental value of freedom of expression is going under.”

And Zelizer says satire, irony, and criticism are the foundation of free speech.

“Part of how we engage with things that enthrall us, that frighten us, that baffle us,” she says, “and I think it’s extremely important to keep them alive.”

Dean of Temple University’s School of Media and Communication, David Boardman explains the importance of satire.

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“There are certain institutions that become so powerful throughout history,” he says, “that often the most effective and pointed way to poke at their power and to question their values is through satire.”

Boardman points out the irony in the attack.

“These terrorists, in trying to silence that voice now, will perpetuate the publication of these cartoons in newspapers and magazines all around the world,” he says.

Both Zelizer and Boardman stress the need to embrace and encourage free speech, especially in the face of violence.

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