Dianna Anderson Jul 25, Late last Tuesday night, in a quiet corner of the quiet town of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, police and county law enforcement cars blocked off the end of a street and evacuated the neighbors.
The Syrian photographer who took pictures for Reuters on a freelance basis was killed while covering fighting in Aleppo on December 20, Much of the reporting that has come out of Syria in recent months has been done by freelance journalists and citizen journalists.
The only major news networks operating within the country are outlets like Syrian Arab News Agency SANA that have long been arms of the Syrian government, carrying a very strict party line and presenting news entirely from the perspective of the Assad government.
With Dangers of journalism death of Hafez al-Assad, father to current Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, ina strong demand for reform paved the way for tentative relaxation of some of the stricter information controls on the Syrian people.
Though there were slight improvements, even some open discussions of opposition politics, these reforms were quickly undone, diminishing any chance there might have been for the growth of an independent media within the country.
As the Dangers of journalism became more advanced, the Assad regime initially kept tight restrictions on free expression in the digital sphere.
However, there was a move in the beginning of to allow access to Facebook and YouTube in the country. Social media gave activists the tools to organize and provided platforms for citizen journalists to share their stories with other Syrians and the rest of the world.
In earlyas the Arab Spring bloomed in Syria, these new citizen journalists created a wellspring of independent mediaand the international spotlight on the burgeoning political turmoil led to a dramatic increase in the number of foreign journalists entering the country.
However, very soon after, many foreign journalists were expelled from the country as peaceful protests were violently put down by the government. Since then, it has largely fallen onto the shoulders of journalists secretly entering the country to brave the dangers of the now-violent Syrian revolution, or else tour the country closely monitored by a Syrian government representative intent on controlling the flow of information about the civil war.
Since the revolution began, Syria has become the most dangerous country in the world for journalists. In its annual report, the Committee to Protect Journalists counted at least 29 journalists killed while working in Syria, bringing the total up to 63 since the violence began in late A few of these deaths, like those of journalists Marie Colvin and Remi Ochlik, killed in Homs inare suspected to have been deliberately targeted by the government.
In addition to deaths, kidnapping has been used as a method of silencing journalists, with over 60 cases reported in alone. Whereas the deaths of journalists could, in some instances, be considered unavoidable due to the danger of reporting in a war zone, these kidnappings are clearly targeted operations.
An Islamist schism distinct from the non-theocratic rebels, ISIS has been condemned by Reporters Without Bordersamong other free expression organizations, for its hostility towards journalists working in Syria.
This climate is making many journalists think twice about reporting from the conflict. With most major news agencies pulling their staff journalists out of Syria, the burden is increasingly falling on freelance and citizen journalists, though it may now be too dangerous for freelancers to work in the country.
Freelancers are often more vulnerable to the surrounding violence in conflict-stricken areas, and have limited access to resources such as protective clothing or training on how to report safely within a war zone. With the Assad regime and extremist rebel factions showing complete disregard for the safety of journalists, the only alternative to help many of these daring freelancers is to urge news agencies purchasing their work to offer them a greater degree of protection.
Writing for the New York Times, James Estrin and Karam Shoumali, describe the protective mechanisms given to a network of Syrian citizens turned freelancers who work for news wire services like Reuters and operate in incredibly dangerous locations.
Photographers, for example, are given camera gear, a flak jacket and a helmet. While these freelance photographers often produce stunning resultsconcerns about staged photos and the use of pseudonyms has called into question the objectivity of photos submitted by local freelancers.
Since many of these photographers are also activists for the rebels, it seems impossible to prevent any hint of bias from filtering into their reporting on the conflict, particularly when they and their families are so inextricably involved.
Though that last fact does not disqualify their credibility, it does lead to concerns of veracity. In a piece for the Columbia Journalism ReviewItalian journalist and author Francesa Borri describes her struggle with Italian editors who are more interested in selling papers through sensational photographs and bloody stories of violence than complex summations of the Syrian conflict.
She also describes the common problem of competing freelancers bargaining the price of their own work, leading to very little pay for high risk jobs. However, the targeting of journalists with violence prevents the rest of the world from understanding the complexities of a conflict that has so far claimed the lives of overpeopledisplaced more than 9 millionand produced a human rights crisis of epic proportions.
In a situation like Syria, where the absence of accurate information can produce dire consequences in terms of formulating a measured international response, the safety of journalists is paramount. We aim to provide appropriate safety equipment and advice to staff and freelancers covering stories across the world.
This can include personal equipment such as bulletproof vests, ballistic helmets and glasses as well as hazardous-environment and ethics guidance whenever and wherever possible. In both rapidly changing and challenging environments, we constantly review the hazards our journalists face and take appropriate action immediately.Hazards and danger are common in careers such as construction, firefighting and law enforcement.
However, if the question "Name the most dangerous careers" was asked on Family Feud, Journalism most likely would not be found on the survey list. NEW YORK, Aug 26 (IPS) - As the reliance on freelance journalists by news organisation has increased, so has the burden of guaranteeing a safe working environment for these journalists, especially when reporting from war-torn areas.
A journalist’s job exists to inform, update and warn the public about the urgent events that everyday people may not be aware about. These noble messengers open doors to the different worlds unknown and, most importantly, what inhabits our personal lives. . Home > International Journalism > War Journalism Resources > A Dangerous Job War Journalism Resources A Dangerous Job Journalists, too, have a role in the fight for freedom, and sometimes the risks of reporting are great.
By Robert Leger In the United States, journalists sometimes go to jail rather than give up a source. Why Journalists Take the Risk to Report from Dangerous Places When entire regions are no-go zones for journalists, what do we accept as news? We are taught in our classes about the dangers of becoming reporters and how common threats against the profession are — but a lack of focus in how this is even more dangerous for journalists abroad allows us to become complacent with these threats.