Risking our safety to gather news

By EMILY JOSEPH

Journalists have been known to go to great lengths to report breaking news. From standing on the front lines of war to sustaining a hurricane, journalists don’t back down from challenges.

With that being said, when is it enough? Where is the line that can protect them from serious harm?

The recent health crisis of Ebola has once again brought the issue of journalism safety to the forefront. Unfortunately (and ironically) NBC journalists went from just reporting the story to being the story.

Ashoka Mukpo, a freelance photographer for NBC News, was infected with Ebola while working in Liberia with a team of reporters. He was transported back to the U.S. and is thankfully okay, but there are thousands of people who have not been so lucky (predominately in West Africa).

After being pronounced “Ebola free,” Mukpo tweeted “I don’t regret going to Liberia to cover the crisis. That country was a second home to me and I had to help raise the alarm.”

His selflessness and dedication can be seen as honorable or crazy to some. Some people don’t want to put their lives on the line for the news. But others, like Mukpo, find a deeper story. They don’t just want to report, they want to help people.

I’m torn between fully supporting their desires and insisting they see a professional. Yet maybe I’m not at the¬†point in my life or career where I understand their actions. In fact, I one day hope to be so passionate about something that I would “die” for it. Most likely that passion won’t be reporting, but instead my future family. Nevertheless I commend those who want to report on and raise awareness for issues throughout the world.