The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Attacks, danger in Middle East shouldn’t deter eager journalists

Four journalists were reported missing in Libya among the violence between Moammar Gad-dafi’s forces and rebels pushing for a democratic revolution last week.

Around this time, journalists covering demonstrations were attached by Hamas security forces in Gaza.

Lara Logan’s assault during the Egypt protests climbed to the top of the media’s agenda in mid-February, as the young, blonde-haired CBS reporter suffered from a sexual assault and beating while reporting in Tahrir Square. It was reported that over 140 journalists reporting the Egyptian protests were attacked during the revolution.

In other traditional warfare, it wasn’t surprising to see a photographer jumping out in the middle of gunfire to report the news.

Before we all left for skiing or surfing last week, I heard many discussions in classes on whether or not journalists will be as eager to go out into the world’s inevitable violence since recent attacks in the Middle East. Many also wonder if journalists do go, if they would be as confident jumping into the middle of this violence with pens or lenses in hand.

It appears as though an evolution of sorts has occurred, where a reporter is no longer a seemingly protected civilian, but an enemy to those around him in his reporting.

Reporters—men or women—will still have the drive to go out into this perceived danger if they had it before. However, the concern then comes if news organizations and editors will be hesitant in sending a driven woman, like Logan, into dangerous foreign correspondence.

If a female correspondent is nervous or scared, she shouldn’t go. In all reality, her decision not to go isn’t a reflection of her as a journalist. The current circumstances are more dangerous for women: simply, they’re more of a target and they’re physically weaker.

However, these current circumstances won’t change women’s motives to go report in foreign and/or dangerous situations. Should the reported attacks cause a journalist’s superior to hesitate before sending her, then we have a problem.

If anything, the superior should just make sure the journalist is prepared for what she (or he) is going into, just as if that person were going into warfare as part of the military.

In an ideal world, the recent attacks wouldn’t be a reflection of an evolution, it would be more of a fluke. We could return to the custom that journalists reporting amid warfare are simply there reporting, not acting as a presence for other’s opposition.

In fear that this may not be a recent random occurrence, I just hope that journalists will find a way to adopt to this change.

News needs to be reported, no matter what, nor where, it is. I would like to think that those who have the calling to be foreign correspondents would sustain that motive and pursue their careers as they wish.

The danger there is real. I would be nervous; but I feel that when running around in a crowd or between gunfire, whatever it is that pumps through my blood driving me to be a journalist would persist and I would get the job done and do it well. I have no doubt that this would be the same for any other journalist, male or female.

Taylor Adams is a senior journalism major. She can be reached for comment at [email protected].

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