Embedded Journalism Issue Paper
Written by: Sabrina Browne
A New Target of War
Have you ever wondered what it was like to be a news reporter? Not just any reporter, but a war correspondent? To be in the middle of a war, watching it with your very own eyes? It sounds exciting, riveting in fact. Picture yourself, standing there with microphone in your hand, while gun shots and grenades are going off. You tell the cameraman to keep rolling, because you don’t want to miss a second of the action. Roughing it, living with soldiers, driving in tanks, etc. It all sounds straight out of movie, but for some people this is real life.
Embedded journalists are news reporters who are attached with military units that are situated in conflict zones or war zones. These journalists put their lives at risk every day to provide news and keep the public informed on world issues. Such as the war in Iraq, the uprising in Libya and other countries throughout the world were conflict is brewing.
Though these journals may focus on the world’s issues, I am going to be focusing on their issues in my paper titled “For the Press, For the People, For your Life.” This paper focuses on the problems of embedded journalism that have been put aside, or that people feel journalists should expect while in these countries. Such as journalists being kidnapped during war, or killed in crossfire on the front line.
The paper begins with current day issues that embedded journalists face such as a lack of security, transportation and proper training. I present facts from the International News Safety Institute and the Committee to Protect Journalism. I account, past journalists who risked their lives for the news, and the deaths that fell upon them. Then I conclude with what can be done, and move into the history of embedded journalists, where we learn about the original embedded journalists from Vietnam to present day. In the history we learn how embedded journalism started with the military’s “no censorship” and how quickly that changed. We then discuss multiple wars and the role embedded journalists played in them, leading up to the present day Iraq War.
Lastly I conclude with what needs to be done for embedded journalists to provided better safety and for their news networks to dish out the expenses to ensure this safety. I then discuss the idea of wellness programs for journalists who come back from war, an idea that derives from a journalist in my contemporary section. I end the paper by discussing where to go next and what will happen if things in this industry don’t change, if the cost of news continues to be the cost of a life.
The “Real” Cost of News
Contemporary Issue Section
The embedding of journalists during wars or conflict zones is becoming increasingly dangerous as the media strives to fulfill the demand for news and overlooks the safety of those who provide the news. Even though journalists know the risks they are taking when they accept to cover a war story, the security provided to them needs to be tighter in these countries and conflict zones. When journalists do get attacked the media profits off of it, with an increase in ratings. The media produces multiple stories, newspapers and other sources of information covering the attack, while journalists are left to deal with the aftermath of being a war correspondent and its long term effects.
The dangers of war correspondence have increased over the years with more journalists becoming casualties of war. The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) reports “Since 1992, 354 journalists have been killed in combat and crossfire.” Some of these journalists were killed on the front, by suicide bombs, explosives or other means, but they live on as reminders of the risks of covering war. Such incidents prompted the development of...