Posted by McKenzie Anderson
It’s not a secret that being a reporter can be dangerous. As journalists, we are expected to put ourselves in uncomfortable, unsafe situations—and that’s because it’s our job. We have an obligation to our readers to report on stories, even if it comes with taking some major risks.
But lately I’ve been questioning how far is too far? Where do we draw the fine line between necessary reporting and necessary safety?
I was reading an article this morning on BBC news. A Sunday Times reporter and an award-winning French photographer both died while over in a Syrian city. Both journalists had been staying in a makeshift media center in the Baba Amr district when a shell hit the center. Marie Colvin (from Sunday Times) and Remi Ochlik (photographer) both died after the hit, while several other journalists were injured. In the article, you also learn that Colvin had already lost sight in one eye after getting hit by a shrapnel while reporting in Sri Lanka in 2001.
So what’s the appeal in reporting in war zones and other dangerous settings?
While doing more research on the subject, I remembered a documentary I’ve heard about called Under Fire. Here is a trailer for a little bit of background.
When watching this video, I realized that there are some rewards to living life on the edge, but I’m still left with questions. How far is too far? When does our safety become more important than our journalistic obligations?