Zachary Shaw Copy Editor
With the recent beheadings of American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff by the terrorist organization, Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the dangers of journalism as a field have come into the spotlight.
Paige Allen, Lewis and Clark Community College Media Specialist, knows that the recent killings of journalists overseas is not something new to the profession.
“To say journalism is evolving into a more dangerous field is to disregard every journalist who has put his/her personal safety or life on the line throughout time. Journalism always has and always will be a dangerous field for reporters brave enough to venture to the scene of the crime, natural disaster, or war,” Allen said.
Journalists losing their lives is more common than the public hears about, and the media chooses to publicize.
A breakdown of journalist fatalities by year from CNN, starting from 1992 to 2014, records a confirmed 1,074 deaths. Through three fourths of this year, 34 journalists have lost their lives. In 2013 a total of 70 men and women died while serving their job duties.
“I’m not sure what, if anything, can be done to protect journalists who are doing their jobs while in harm’s way. Even journalists who are ‘embedded’ with the military during wartime can’t truly be protected in such hostile situations,” Allen said. “It is just the risk the journalist takes. The risk to get and tell the world the story that needs to be told.”
More world events will take place that need to be reported, journalists will be called to the occasion.
Death in the journalism field is something that will always be there, as it has been in the past.
“I think that no matter the type or amount of violence perpetuated against journalists, there always will be people like those journalists recently killed in the line of duty— people like James Foley, Steven Sotloff and so many others—who will feel compelled to put their lives at risk for others, for the greater good of mankind and with the hope of making a positive impact and change in the world,” Allen said.
To get a better understanding of who ISIS is and what type of threat they currently are to journalists over in the Middle East go to http://cnn.it/10jGQdh.
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