Considered as one of the most dangerous jobs, war reporting is the epitome of the journalistic mission. No war correspondent can deny the perilous (hazardous) aspect of the assignment, and yet, none of them would trade his job for a much safer environment or a more pleasant task. War reporting is, by definition, a branch of journalism that requires the journalist, commonly known as a war correspondent, to relocate to the country where a raging war or a conflict-ridden situation arises and cover it, thus providing the media with stories, pictures and videos from the war zone. It is a risky undertaking putting the journalist at the peril of exposing himself to the ugliness and bestiality of war, and even getting killed in the course of duty.
Witnessing history from a close-up range requires such bravery and devotion towards the mission. Journalists in these conflict areas are required to write in-depth stories from the war victims’ perspective, therefore exposing themselves to sniper fires, bombs or even deadly interactions with the enemy. Although many reporters nowadays take major precautions to ensure their safety while performing their task, the risks remain huge and one can hardly avoid them. Protective gears, such as flak jackets are necessary and sometimes, the journalists choose to accompany soldiers in their daily routines in order to get the information from a source that is not only reliable but can also assure their protection.
As the war correspondent Marie Colvin said, “Our mission is to report these horrors of war with accuracy and without prejudice. We always have to ask ourselves whether the level of risk is worth the story. What is bravery, and what is bravado?‘; we can’t help but wonder if the search of truth among weeping widows, scared orphans and mangled innocents is enough of a justifying cause. We must ponder the irreversibility of the images these veterans of the truth pledge to diffuse and share with the whole world. The journalist entangles himself in a draining process. Yet, he must remain objective no matter how horrendous the scenes he witnesses.
The danger does not only rely on death, many correspondents were kidnapped, tortured or held hostages for long periods”. In those conflict zones, the journalist is a mere moving target for the enemy. Many end up on the line of sight for the sole reason of choosing a camp over the other.
Instead of a rifle, a camera in the hand, the war correspondent engages in the conflict and embodies the universal sacredness of the Truth. He fights a battle in the name of Humanity and Innocence with rudimentary but powerful weapons: Words and Pictures. None of us could disagree on the value of this noble mission. It bears great importance to spread the Truth, to witness the atrocity of war and its monstrous consequences from the perspective of those bound to not only face it, but also endure it as a prominent part of their lives. These reporters vow to make this a possibility at the price of their lives, all in the name of the Truth.
Hundreds of reporters have been killed and murdered during field reporting in conflict zones of the world especially in Iraq and Syria war. According to ‘Committee to Protect Journalists’ (CPJ),
108 journalists were killed in the war since the war erupted in Syria. Since 1992, 31 journalists were killed in Afghanistan due to various reasons.
Several organizations are working to protect and insure journalists’ work in world’s dangerous zones to ensure the safety of their lives, but still a lot needs to be done.
“179 journalists were murdered in Iraq since 1992”, and many of them laid down their lives during war in these countries because in Afghanistan and Iraq, many journalists’ lives have been engulfed by a prolonged war.