Better Safe than Sorry

Somewhere in the back of my mind I can hear a broadcast about a journalist being killed by friendly fire during a time when America was at war, and for me I thought absolutely nothing, I felt nothing.

It was another murder, a shooting; so what? Murders happen every day here in America. I feel ashamed of that and feel somehow I should have been more compassionate; and, paid more attention.  I see that I am uninformed.

After seeing the number of murders in other countries, I say it is very unsafe to send out journalists. These people are hostile and there is a difference when someone who fights a war and someone who is reporting, because soldiers are armed and have very little protection for even themselves; however, they are trained in war, journalists are not.

According to statistical data for journalists murdered found on the Committee to Protect Journalists site; the continent of Africa has more danger than any other country with 58 people who died. Furthermore, the beats covered show higher episodes in the political arena. All over the country a murder has taken place which says that no foreign country should send their reporters there.

We know that there are wars all over the world taking place because of people’s attempts to overthrow oppressive governments. The question; then, is why send in American or any other journalists to cover another countries problems?

Imagine this:  we are in the middle of a war zone with bullets flying everywhere, low to no visibility with shouts and deafening noise to escalate the pounding of your heart; and all I have is a camera, a pen, a recorder, and a notebook, and maybe a helmet. Does that really make sense?

One reporter gives an account of an argument with a soldier brandishing a gun; a scene where, she was almost shot, because she wanted to help a man who had been injured. She writes, “So I argued so badly—telling this soldier, who probably could not read and write, about the Geneva Convention, the rights of man, and Christian compassion. His patience was turning to rage when another journalist pulled me into our taxi and said, “This is Africa, what the hell were you thinking?”(Janine di Giovanni, (2002).

I wonder the same thing.




Committee to Protect Journalists. Defending Journalists Worldwide

 International news reporting: Frontlines and deadlines. Malden, MA: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. ISBN: ISBN: 9781405160391

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