The Unprotected, Underpaid, Endangered Journalist in War

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Journalists at Risk

August 20, 2014;Washington Post

In this world of reorganized journalism, some say, those independent freelancers who are not backed by large institutions of any kind are particularly vulnerable.

The Committee to Protect Journalists, which tracks journalists who have been killed, injured, or jailed for doing their jobs around the world, yesterday called Syria, where James Foley was killed this week, “the most dangerous country in the world for journalists for more than two years. At least 69 other journalists have been killed covering the conflict there, including some who died over the border in Lebanon and Turkey. More than 80 journalists have been kidnapped in Syria; with frequent abductions, some of which go unpublicized, it is difficult to know exactly how many. CPJ estimates that approximately 20 journalists, both local and international, are currently missing in Syria. Many of them are believed to be held by Islamic State.”

James Harkin, who covered Syria as a freelancer, writes in Vanity Fair about the fact that many of those covering the conflict in Syria are also freelance. “Missing from the statistics is anything about the kind of journalists who goes to Syria and why,” he wrote. “After the death of Marie Colvin in a blizzard of Syrian Army shells in Homs in February 2012, much of the Western media drew back from covering the country. Meanwhile, a lightly resourced, laughably paid, almost wholly uninsured cadre of freelancers, often armed with little more than a notebook and a mobile phone, infiltrated Syria anyway.”

Another reporter, Austin Tice, wrote several pieces on Syria for the Washington Post on a freelance basis—but not by choice. “I prefer to work for one organization over freelancing,” he wrote on his LinkedIn page. “I can write, film, snap and speak, so if your organization is looking for an all-in-one crisis correspondent willing to get the stories others won’t, call me.”

Around this time in 2012, he disappeared and hasn’t been heard from since.—Ruth McCambridge

  • Liberals Are So Self Aggrandizing & Naive

    Seriously? Wow, where to begin.

    First of all, welcome to the reality of your brave new world of embracing, excusing and covering for Islam as you on the Left have done for so long. Suddenly you act so surprised when what all the rest of us have been telling you for so long, reveals its ugly truth to the world. You scoffed when we told you that Islam was out to establish a Caliphate. And now it has. You can try to wiggle and squirm all you want, it just happened.

    You thought you knew it all and were so smart. You thought you could reason with these people and charm them with your liberal hand wringing and Islamic commiserating bashing of Republicans and America. Enjoy the crow, the right was RIGHT.

    Secondly, so-called “journalists” are nothing more than political operatives. Give it up already, your little game of attempting to act so wide eyed and innocent thinking we don’t know EXACTLY what you are. “Journalists” are extremely biased political partisans and nothing more. A complete joke.

    Thirdly, the enemy knows, and so do all the smart people in the world, that intelligence operatives as well as politically motivated enemies attempt to hide behind the cover of “journalism”. So laughable that you still seem to thing that you are camouflaged, when everyone else can see you plain as day.

    So, you waltz into these zones, or onto the news daily, full of yourselves and thinking nobody knows who you are and what you are, and then squeal with shock when you are targeted by the enemy for basically being an element who is waging what is essentially “Journalistic Jihad” against them. Then oh so surprised when they start to target you with a vengeance. They don’t play your silly games and mock you for assuming they would / should. They. Don’t. Give. A. D***. (your filter apparently so easily shocked even “Da**” is Verboten!”

    Seriously, are you people really this dumb and naive? Why yes, yes you are. Oh and of course since you know I’m right and just flamed you with the truth and you can’t intelligently rebut it – you will delete this as fast as you can. Further proving my point.

    Is it great that Foley got beheaded? Nope, I didn’t say that did I?

    Is it completely predictable and expected that “journalists” are going to be targeted by they very same elements they have defended while bashing Bush et al?

    Yep. Is is surprising? Nope.

    Is your whining and hand wringing going to change a thing? Nope.

    Can you defeat the Islamic State movement with just bombing? Nope.

    Will it take a massive military engagement and lots of American boots on the ground with a war that could go on decades spending money we don’t have? Yep.

    Were Republicans right and Democrats wrong? Yep.