I read a Facebook post the other day from an anchor I used to work with.
It asked if you were a journalist and had to choose between two assignments: covering the war or covering disease outbreak in a foreign country … what would you pick?
And now that question has been resonating with me for a while.
Aren’t they both wars, just different killers?
What has this world come to?
If you weren’t sent out on an assignment overseas, your biggest story would most likely be a shooting at a place where most of the population isn’t even old enough to hold a gun.
The horrifying death of journalist James Foley shocked so many, but many people aren’t aware of how many journalists are actually dying overseas.
In 2014 alone, 40 journalists have been killed, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. Ten of those have been killed in Syria and five each in Iraq and Ukraine.
Twenty percent have been freelance journalists.
And it was also an american freelance journalist that was just diagnosed with Ebola.
As scary as it is to report in places where your life is at risk, there must be something great about it. Something great about knowing that you are working to gather facts and tell a story to the public about what is going on in the world, keeping the public calm even if your mind is racing during live television because you know your own life is at risk.
This is oddly enough something that is very appealing to me. I want to be one of the journalists people look to, to find out about these things. I want to be able to find out the information and tell stories to the public they wouldn’t necessarily know otherwise.
Journalists risk their lives to put out stories so the public becomes aware. They find out the information that the general public would otherwise not know of; the information the people in power often have control over.
Watching journalists report overseas at times like these fortify the reason of why I think the journalism profession is important and why I want to pursue such a career.
I take pride in knowing that I am going into a profession like this and hope that people understand the risks journalists are taking to make the public aware. The death of James Foley was one of a kind, but with the impact ISIS is having, a death like his may not be the last.