The Danger for Journalists?

For foreign correspondents and journalists the idea of travelling around the world, reporting on major issues, is a very inviting avenue to explore. Receiving the opportunity to experience many facets of the world whilst also getting paid is something that many dream of. This, however, can sometimes be an extremely dangerous occupation, with the danger exceeding the reward. The idea of playing by Russian roulette with your life in order to scout foreign lands for a story is something many wouldn’t consider a fantastic occupation.

We rely on journalists to address the public on issues, sometimes not realising the extent of the danger and pressure that surrounds their work life. Entering war zones has caused some journalists to be captured, assaulted, and in some cases killed. The most recently recognised example is the case of Peter Greste, an Australian journalist who was captured by the Egyptian Military and held in prison for over 400 days. After being arrested in Cairo in December 2013, along with 20 other Al-Jazeera colleagues, he was jailed for contributing to the ‘Muslim Brotherhood’. Since this issue took place, the public’s eyes have been opened to the risks that can be associated with journalism in a foreign country.

In terms of modern issues, the risk of Islamic State is high on the list (you might rephrase this passage. It’s a big clunky – IS isn’t really an issue, as such; it’s an organisation that raises issues such as global security) . A rising war that started back in 2001, is reaching a catastrophic level regarding the negative effect and impact Islamic State is having on the world. This unrest further endangers journalists all around the Middle-East, and has resulted in hostages being taken and lives ended. The world was left stunned in late 2014, when a video was released by IS, showing the beheading of American journalist James Foley. This was the culmination of the chaotic relationship brewing between Islamic State and the American 1st world society, and the result, the brutal death of a journalist.

We expect these journalists to present articles that are newsworthy and of interest. However in the light of the variance of cultures, religions, foreign policies and a multitude of other factors in countries throughout the world, are we expecting too much? In the cases noted above, we realise that although these security issues mar the role of foreign correspondents, surely more can be done to protect these people. Security needs to be provided. Journalists need to be able to continue to work in an environment, which they can feel safe, and able to communicate the news to the public in a neutral and unbiased manner.



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