I know this has been going on for years now (starting with the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq if my memory serves me well) but the recent unrest in the Middle East (not to mention the nuclear/radioactivity scare in Japan post-earthquake/tsunami) has really gotten me thinking about what I call “dangerous journalism”.
It boggles my mind the risks that journalists take – or are expected to take by their employers – in going into war zones, or simply dangerous areas of unrest/upheaval such as the Middle East in the early part of 2011. At what cost? Death, injury, abduction? And for what benefit? Feeding our appetite for news, succumbing to the pressure to broadcast, scoring on ratings? Would “citizen journalists” be a good alternative in these instances?
Presumably the journalists are agreeable to doing this dangerous reporting, but I have to wonder whether there’s an ethical or moral component on the part of their employers given the significant risk involved. How far will they go?
I’m certainly glad that I’m not a journalist! What do you think about what I call “dangerous journalism”? Or is it just me?