By MELISSA CASTILLO
A recent post by colleague Andres Correa tells about the positive aspect in allowing journalists to enter war zones and the passage this has opened in social media for journalists to report explosions the moment they occur. But there is the other very significant aspect of being able to spread the word and photos of the explosions so promptly: Journalists risking their lives.
Although journalists have died in the name of reporting the truth during war times before, it has never reached the intensity we see today. According to the International Press Institute, 28 journalists were killed in 1997. Fifteen years later, we’re at 119. In comparison to the number of soldiers who have been killed, it’s a small percentage. But it’s the fact that the risk factor of foreign journalism is increasing, especially in the Middle East. And with the Arab Spring nowhere near its end, the number is likely to keep growing.
The question is: What does this mean for foreign journalism? This can either scare off journalists or motivate the brave to continue fighting in the name of their duty to the masses. The rise in deaths also means journalists need to receive some formal training before entering war zones and receive similar benefits that soldiers do. At the end of the day, they’re both fighting for a greater good.