Journalists face risks in wartime

Photo By: Eric Bouvet/VII NetworkReporter Bruno Girodon on the platform, in the middle of a war zone in Tripoli, Libya last month, right before he was shot by a sniper.

Many journalists and reporters have put their life on the line for a story.

Being a journalist can be a dangerous job, especially when you enter a war zone.  Reporters often have to go through extreme measures just to get information. More facts, live coverage, and interviews are being demanded more and more by the public. In order to get such vital information, being on the scene is often necessary.

Journalists have been blindfolded, held at gunpoint, accused of being spies, harassed and even killed all for stories. “It’s scary and you do it, it’s just part of being a journalist” said Meg Laughlin, senior reporter for St. Petersburg Times.

Why would a reporter go through such lengths for a story? Some believe that it’s because journalists know that what they are doing is important, and without them the public wouldn’t be able to get the news. Al Tompkins, Broadcast/Online Group leader for Poynter Institute for Journalists said he hopes “the public will come to understand these journalists are doing important work at significant danger and great personal expense.”

Journalists’ protection is important. In some places being a reporter and advertising it, can help them be more protected. As wars, political battles and other controversies continue it has gotten some reporters into predicaments.  There have been several situations where reporters have become surrounded and threatened.  Journalists don’t have the luxury of having backup on call to help them when they are in trouble.

The Committee to Protect Journalists is an independent, nonprofit organization that promotes press freedom worldwide by protecting the rights of journalists to report without fear of punishment. According to the CPJ, 29 journalists have been killed already in 2011, with a motive. Currently the four most dangerous places for journalists are Pakistan, Iraq, Libya, and Afghanistan. A total of 875 journalists have been killed around the world since 1992.

Being careful is the most important thing a journalist can do when going into foreign places. Even with all the dangers while covering news oversees, journalism won’t ever stop.

This entry was posted in International Press, Journalism Jobs, News coverage, Reporting, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

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