A few days ago, I asked a journalist “how would you cover a war on the perspective of global journalism?” First, he surprised than he answered me that he is a crime reporter not a war reporter. I told him just to guess. This time he was a bit specific and answered, “it is difficult to cover an big event but you have to be clear your idea and asses the situation, don’t miss interpret the war which you are covering.” I was very curious when the whole answer and behind the scene come infront of me. Dear reader when you are reading this article some times you may feel bore. I could not promise for entertainment but I can for information. After doing a lot of research and collecting data, I found that it would be better for me to angel my topic in different aspect. Here I tried to do so.
The history of war reporting is too much vague. From the the article The War Correspondents by Harold Evans, we could have some lights on our vague portion. Julies Caesar who reported his own campaing assesed as a war reporter. The professional independent war correspondent began from the Crimean War (1853-55) in the persons of William "Billy" Howard Russell of The Times of
War reporting has changed in line with at least three developments.
1) Technological change in war reporting: Journalist now does field reports with the live TV camera and sometimes-foreign news agency sent a reporter who can handle the multimedia equipments by himself. Associated Press trains this kind of journalistic training.
2) The change of concepts of sovereignty, which have led to different types of war, i.e. wars between nation states, civil wars and humanitarian interventions, which challenge our traditional images of how wars look like.
3) The growing functionality of war reporting which is characterized by an almost instant availability of images about war on the one hand and an increasing dramatization of war reporting on the other hand, which render so called ‘objective standards’ on war reporting almost meaningless. GuardianFilms has instead trained Iraqis as cameramen, brought them to
For the blessing of technology now, freelance reporter reported about war. It is sometime impossible to cover a conflict by the foreign correspondents, and then the main source of information became the local reporters. They became the publisher and censor of there own report when they disseminate it on online.
CPJ (Center for Protect Journalists) recognizes that the journalists who are most at risk are often local reporters. They, and their news companies, often cannot afford body armor or expensive training courses. Some of them live with daily risks. Foreign media companies also employ some of them. One of the most important skills that journalists can learn is how to protect themselves and others in the field of war. Several companies offer “hostile-environment training” tailored for journalists; hundreds have taken these courses in the last few years, and many who finish the weeklong sessions say they are extremely valuable. Even correspondents with years of experience covering dangerous assignments say they learn much from the courses, which are usually taught by former military personnel. Before sending any correspondent to cover a war Associated Press always to have Risk Assessment Course. Media companies increasingly send their news teams to special security training courses that were virtually unknown a decade ago.
Journalists face unprecedented ethical pressures during times of war. Popular patriotic passions, the demands and strategic interests of the government, cultural and national sensitivities and traditional journalistic responsibilities are often on a collision course. The Code of Ethics of the Society of Professional Journalists advises journalists to “Seek Truth and Report It” and to “Minimize Harm” — obligations that are frequently in conflict, as are the other two major obligations in the code: “Act Independently” and “Be Accountable (Sussman, 2007). The tenor of war language has changed over the past century, and with it the ethical obligations have changed (Nunberg).
According to Mete Ã‡ubukcu, during war there is some morel responsibility for the journalists who are covering the war.
1. The journalist cannot be on the side of crimes or promote war. Journalists should keep the peace and promote justice between the people of world; they should not make any effort to engage in crimes or promote hatred between people.
2. The task of a correspondent is to reflect the true face, the disturbing side of the war. The people should face those bloody scenes so that they can be offended.
3. War or crisis journalism is not only writing down the death and casualty toll. Nor is it an apparatus for reflecting official statements. The forces of the occupation opt to reflect the occupation differently by establishing the institution of embedded journalism.
4. Journalists are human being who does not only act with his/her pen and camera but also with his/her conscience.
5. Convey the truth through what the people of the war-infected areas are going on, not the fake success of the occupied force.
During the establishments of US army in Iraq the army told journalist to leave because, a hour later huge bombardment will began, the American government had warned all the aid organizations and establishments to leave Iraq. What their flight from Iraq meant is this: they, the journalists, are not in any way responsible for what could happen! It could, of course, be understandable to evacuate the aid organizations and foreigners, but it is not understandable to evacuate journalists. This evacuation of the journalists had a single meaning: the US did not want it to be known what was going on in Baghdad, which very soon would be made into hell. The presence of many journalists meant a lot of news. This news could easily stain the "clean" war promised by the US. Naturally, many journalists yielded to this threat. But it was not the journalists who were originally responsible, but the directives which enforced them to go. However, according to the Geneva Convention, journalists, as well as civilians and soldiers captured in war, are exempt from battle and are considered to be out of the war as much as possible. But it is naive to expect the US to abide by the Geneva Convention when even UN resolutions are ignored. This is the situation in which the biggest destruction and most deadly attack in recent years have been carried out by the American bombardment. In the first days of the war, a few journalists, no more than a hundred in number, were able to report the early attacks. The
As a journalist who has been in
The pretext of the American soldiers who opened fire on the Palestine Hotel, or of those who killed a cameraman before Abu Gharib prison was that they thought the cameras were bazookas. The meaning of these attacks, which did not have any legal justification, was obvious. They did not want any image from
American TV did not telecast the brutalized event, which have done by the US Army. Some of the American TV companies claimed they did not telecast the bloody scenes because the spectators are disturbed during the Iraqi war. But the question is, what is the meaning of killing journalist in the name of friendly fire.
Some of the journalists in
Between 1993 and 2002, CPJ research indicates that 366 journalists have been killed while conducting their work; of that total, 60 journalists, or 16 percent, died in crossfire, while 277 journalists or 76 percent were murdered in reprisal for their reporting. The remaining journalists were killed on the job in other situations, such as violent street demonstrations. What happens to those who murder journalists?
War journalism is a risky job. It is different from other professional because no one could guarantee your life in a conflict. When you are collecting your news and dreaming your news as headline, after a few moment you could be the headline of a newspaper with list of dead. The most horrible nightmare for an occupation is not to be able to wander about freely on the streets of the occupied country, to feel the fear of death every single moment. This brutalizes the occupation force even more (Mete Ã‡ubukcu, 2007). CPJ has recorded only 21 out of 277 cases since 1993 in which the suspected perpetrators have been arrested and prosecuted. That means that in 94 percent of the cases, those who kill journalists do so with impunity. In 23 cases since 1993, journalists were kidnapped by militants, criminals, guerrillas, or government forces and subsequently killed, including Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl in
Here is a figure from CPJ (committee to protect journalists) about how many journalist killed from 1991 to 2007.
CLOSEUP on MURDER
Print reporters/writers: 32.1%
Type of death
Type of weapon used
(Top categories, does not add up to the whole)
Small arms (includes handguns, rifles): 51%
Suspected perpetrators in murder cases
Political groups: 29%
Complete impunity: 85.7%
Threatened before murdered
Top 20 countries
2007: 24 (through June 28, 2007)
Beats covered by victims*
Journalists killed (January 1, 1992-June 28, 2007), Total: 636
* Adds up to more than 100 percent because more than one category applies in some cases.
** CPJ considers justice fully served when both the perpetrators and masterminds are convicted. If perpetrators are convicted, but the intellectual authors are not, CPJ classifies the case as partial justice.
From the figure it is clear that war have taken three and half lifes of journalists. Journalists are not soldier. They don’t fight with people. The just whant to seek the truth by asking questions and covering the fact.But they not only killed by the occupied force but also their own people. The sum of journalist killed during covering war is reaching a peak. So there should a solution of this. To finding, the solution there is no appropriate answer could give by the international organizations to protect journalists. Allison Hoffman, a student at
- Get experience working in high-pressure environments.
“The key is good judgment,” Frank said. “You develop good intuition about situations, and you judge each one on its own.” Rules and guidelines cannot replace field experience, he noted, and are critical to covering a major event thoroughly.
- Wait before going into a conflict situation.
“The point is not being the first person there, or in the most dangerous place, but to find the best analysis or angle through different sources," Frank said. He added that, as military tactics become increasingly mechanized and wars grow shorter, the best time for a journalist to go to a conflict zone is after the first wave of battles. “Wait until it’s over,” he advised. “The most interesting story is there.”
- Get training.
The panelists stressed that journalists ought to remain unarmed in conflict situations, and therefore can benefit from personal safety training before venturing into dangerous areas. A variety of organization-sponsored and private training courses are available for journalists considering an overseas assignment.
- Secure a satellite telephone or other independent access to communication.
Matloff emphasized the importance of being able to get stories out quickly and without the threat of censorship from various parties in the conflict area.
- Buy insurance.
“It’s expensive, but necessary,” said Menon, who said that the CPJ is producing a resource book for journalists going into conflict zones as freelancers.
Once you are in a conflict zone:
- Be careful – and use your common sense.
“No story is worth it,” Frank said. “Coming back is the goal.” All four panelists agreed that careful exercise of judgment is the primary weapon journalists have when reporting from dangerous areas.
In the event that a journalist is threatened, the panelists advised that reporters remain calm and reasonable. “You try to engage people in reasoned discussion,” Matloff said. “But there is a problem of being typecast and seen as objects.”
- Know your fixers.
Journalists inevitably rely on fixers and translators in foreign areas with help making contacts, conducting interviews, and gaining cultural context. “Do as much research on your fixers as you do on your stories,” Frank advised. The best way to find reliable help is to go through other journalists for recommendations.
- Get out on the ground.
It is essential for journalists to be on the ground whenever possible to see events firsthand in order to get honest and original angles on their coverage. “Getting out is difficult if you’re beholden to your host, but you try,” Matloff said.
- Travel in groups.
“Everything you see about competitive edge falls apart,” Frank told the audience. “War reporters stick together, for good reason.” He advised traveling in packs for protection.
- Team up with other reporters to cross-report and verify information.
“You can only get one side when you’re on the ground,” Matloff said. Access and physical presence are the two biggest blocks to a lone reporter trying to get all sides of a story. Matloff advised relying on reporters working with the other side, as well as editors in the bureau office, to confirm and add essential perspective to stories reported from the field.
- Work with non-governmental organizations.
For reporters and editors working in bureau offices, international organizations and other neutral observers are often invaluable sources of information. Matloff worried that, in the event that there is a war in
, those people will be asked to leave. “There will be a greater reliance on stringers and freelancers,” she said. Menon noted that while in some cases, local reporters are commissioned to do stories considered too dangerous for western journalists, in other circumstances locals have better and greater access in the field. Iraq
The danger of battle zone is inevitable and journalists always feel the pressure of critical situation but they always return to battle zone to cover war. Why they do so? Anthony Feinstein answered the question in his book “Dangerous Lives War and The Man and Women Who Report It.” The journalists who spent on average 15 years by covering war, they always try to unfold the important events. Another factor is the person who is related with dangerous job they have a biologically attractiveness about this kinds of job beside this they do not like the routine they prefer something excitement; something difference from the individual. Preliminary data from a recently completed study in Antony’s laboratory demonstrate that final year Canadian journalism students who propose following a career in foreign lands not only have a fundamentally different personality profile from their peers who wish to remain at home, but also possess different cognitive attributes. This last point refers to a certain pattern of thinking and approach to problem solving that correlates with well-defined neural networks. Rather than collecting information and at evening writing it on computer they chose a hazardous work environment like uncertainty, sometimes it encompasses with giving voice to the victims of war.
War is journalism is most challenging and stressful environment. War makes and breaks numerous journalistic careers; for every star launched, hundreds of other journalists sweat through post-traumatic stress never to return to the profession. From the long history of war and journalism, it is much difficult to cover the whole area and aspects of war journalism. But from my angles which I covered, I come on this conclusion that in the open democracy practiced world the journalists are comforting the insecure of there life and free flow of information. But they dint have the lack of courage. Though they know they could loose there life in an intent but they are steel doing there duty by mouthpiece of the sufferers.