Journalists Targeted by Government

In today’s globalized world, journalists are increasingly becoming targeted by governments which use war as a cover for their murderous deeds.

Many foreign correspondents are familiar to the risks associated with reporting in combat zones. These risks traditionally include gangs, drug cartels, and terrorist organizations. However, governments and their allied groups are now suspected of being responsible for more than a third of the murders of journalists. This new trend is alarming considering 2012 witnessed the deaths of 119 journalists killed on the job, the highest number since the International Press Institute began keeping record in 1997.

Another issue for journalists is how the nature of war has changed, particularly in the Middle East. With its ongoing 22-month civil war, Syria was rated the most dangerous place for journalists in 2012 by the American Journalism Review. The front lines of war are blurred as suicide bombers, improvised explosive devices, and street protests make no distinction between soldier, citizen, or reporter. In addition, young and inexperienced journalists are especially vulnerable to these potentially deadly threats.

What can we do to increase the safety of journalists and other members of the news media around the world? Must journalists be silenced in order to save their lives? How does this impact the future of foreign correspondence and our access to information around the world?


One Comment on “Journalists Targeted by Government”

  1. mattsimm2013 says:

    It is true that war zones such as Syria are especially dangerous for people like journalists. These are men and women that are not trained for combat and must rely on others for their protection while they record footage and take pictures. However, like several other professions, Journalism is a field that warrants risks. Risks must be taken in order gather the facts and relay them to the public in an accessible matter. Although the chance of being wounded in a place such as Syria is much higher than reporting on a beat downtown, that doesn’t change the fact that a Journalist is still taking a risk whenever they go out to report on a story. Without the media, the public’s sight is severely limited past their front doorstep, so Journalists must be willing to take risks.
    However that’s not all to say that things have to completely remain the same, because they shouldn’t. Efforts must be made in order to protect embedded journalists more efficiently, as they have started to become targets and groups that have been specifically targeting journalists need to be brought to justice.

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