In the best case, journalists uncover what others try to hide from the public. In many countries, the press is called the 'Fourth Estate' because it can keep those in power accountable and from abusing their position, be it economic or political. It's easy to see why journalists are not held in high esteem in many countries, especially by those in power.
For example, in Turkey maltreatment and arrests of journalists who are not in line with Turkey's strongman President are commonplace. The Council of Europe has asked journalists for their experiences in the past 3 years. Most state they have experienced some form of psychological violence.