Friday, November 30, 2007

Dangerous Job

This blog post is based on the article “Baghdad, Iraq: The Scariest Dateline in Journalism.” When I read the article I realized there were several things in it that were worth bringing into my post. The following are things that really stuck out to me while reading the article.

-87% of the 111 major news reporters surveyed said it was “too dangerous” to reveal oneself as a reporter (by carrying a camera or notebook).

-57% say that at least one of their local staff was killed in the last year alone.

- One broadcast editor says, “You want to go out and cover stories, but you cannot because of the threat of kidnapping or worse. It’s hard to hear commentators back home say, ‘The media isn’t covering the full story.’ Well, there’s a reason for that, and it’s not bias. And when journalists cannot cover a playground being rebuilt because it’s too dangerous to travel around the city, then that playground is not the primary story.”

These statistics are amazing, and quite frankly somewhat depressing. Iraq is such a dangerous place that 87% of the reporters surveyed said they are scared about doing anything that would give them away as a journalist/reporter. Can you imagine having that fear everyday in your job? Let’s say you are a mail delivery person. All you have to do is deliver mail to 100 homes a day. However, you can’t let anyone see you or figure out who you are. No uniform, no truck. You can’t just freely walk up to doors and slip the mail in the box. You have to sneak up there and slip it in and hope to not get caught. Would you be scared? I know I would be. Of the journalists surveyed in Iraq, 57% of them have experienced the death of a co-worker. Think of our post office employee again. Would you go to work still?

Journalists have a very dangerous job, especially those serving in Iraq. Every day they are placing their lives on the line so that those of us not in Iraq can see what is going on. There is a big call in our nation right now to support our troops, but maybe we need to add something to that saying. Support our troops and the journalists covering the Iraqi war. They are both doing the best they can in some extreme circumstances.

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