“Investigative reporters and correspondents who cover armed conflicts face the greatest dangers, but many journalists make enemies in the course of doing their work. Others find themselves in dangerous places while covering breaking news.” – Battleground: The Media
[W]hen thinking of a dangerous profession, you might think of a police officer or a firefighter. How about a journalist, though? If journalism is a possibility for a career choice, it should be noted that every day, many journalists risk their lives to cover important events.
Back in August of 2014, dozens of journalists were detained in Ferguson, Missouri, just for doing their jobs. Of the arrested, one was from the Huffington Post, and another was from The Washington Post.
|Broadcast journalist WDBJ Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward were killed by a gunman live on air, as they reported.|
“There was absolutely no justification for the arrests,” declared Martin Baron, executive editor of The Washington Post.
Being a journalist and getting thrown in jail for a few hours in the United States, is nothing compared to what different countries do to reporters.
In Syria alone, a total of 70 journalists have been slain, and more than 80 have been kidnapped since the civil war began in 2011, reports the National Press Club’s Press Freedom Committee.
In 2014, the terrorist organization ISIS caught the world’s attention with the beheadings of James Foley and Steven Sotloff, who were captured in Syria while covering the war.
The group has continued the beheadings into 2015. when ISIS beheaded Japanese hostages Haruna Yukawa and Kenji Goto, after demanding a $200 million ransom.
“Know also that we will cut off your head in the White House, and transform America into a Muslim Province,” the group told President Barack Obama in a message posted online on January 27th.
In different parts of the world that aren’t war zones, the job is just as dangerous. China and Iran lead the world with their mistreatment of journalists, according to Reporters Without Borders. Turkey and Egypt are not that far behind, thanks to political instability caused by extremism and dictatorships, in or surrounding both countries.
In Latin America, things are not any better. In October of 2015, Mexican reporter Maria del Rosario Fuentes Rubio was kidnapped and murdered. Fuentes Rubio was a physician and citizen journalist who was very known on social media site, Twitter, for her reports of cartel activity in Northern Mexico.
Reynosa is a Mexican border town controlled by the Gulf Cartel. According to the Committee to Project Journalists, the cartel has infiltrated the local police, government, and media. The criminals allegedly censor major newsrooms and forbid the publication of anything that has not been pre-approved.
Last year, Venezuela and Ecuador prevented free press. Just last week in Argentina, a top investigator investigating the 1994 suicide attack on a Jewish center was found dead under suspicious circumstances.
Alberto Nisman claimed to have uncovered a shocking connection between the bombing, Hezbollah militants, and Iran. He was found dead a day ahead of his testimony.
|The military attacks journalists in the Ukraine, who are attempting to cover the ongoing conflict with Russia.|
In Somalia, five journalists were arrested over the course of two days, and in Ethiopia, over 60 journalists have been forced into exile since 2010.
Russia, Ukraine, and Afghanistan also make it difficult, or impossible for reporters to do their jobs.
Local laws make it even harder for journalists to dispute charges brought against them, in court. As a result over 178 journalists languish in prison around the world.
Thanks to technology, the job has become more challenging now that many governments restrict the access of information and keep unclassified documents from reporters.
“Let’s hope 2015 brings more respect for human rights in general and in particular for the right of the press to report freely on what people everywhere need to know. “There’s a lot of work to do in 2015 to push back on restrictions placed on the press,” National Press Club President Myron Belkind said.
With all of the kidnapping and murders of journalists and reporters, many still believe that this profession is for them. Journalism is an exciting field but depending on your assignment, it can get you killed.
If you’re still interested, here’s a list of the top journalism schools in the United States, courtesy of CollegeFactual.com.