Distant, disconnected and in danger: Are educators doing enough to prepare students for frontline freelance risks?

Wake, A 2016, 'Distant, disconnected and in danger: Are educators doing enough to prepare students for frontline freelance risks?', Pacific Journalism Review, vol. 22, no. 1, pp. 52-73.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Distant, disconnected and in danger: Are educators doing enough to prepare students for frontline freelance risks?
Author(s) Wake, A
Year 2016
Journal name Pacific Journalism Review
Volume number 22
Issue number 1
Start page 52
End page 73
Total pages 22
Publisher Auckland University of Technology, School of Communication Studies, Pacific Media Centre
Abstract For anyone who has worked in another country, the journalistic 'rules of engagement' differ in each port. Foreign correspondents argue passionately for the freedom of the press, saying that by 'bearing witness' to crimes against civilians they will be able to effect change. However, in taking risks to report on such events, most journalists recognise that-if their reports displease a particular country's power elite-they can quickly find themselves deported, banned from future entry, languishing behind bars or, in a worst-case scenario, killed. Using Bourdieuan considerations, this article concentrates on the young, mostly freelance, journalists who have absorbed Western news values-including the myth of the heroic war reporter and truth-seeker-and suggests greater understanding of the cultural and political nuances of countries from which they intend to report. Using journalism as a methodology, this article looks at several cases in which reporters have found themselves in difficulties, and suggests that educators consider sharing three lessons: know your employer; acknowledge local differences between countries; and learn the skill of risk assessment. Risk-assessment skills include stressing the need for sufficient pre-deployment training in first aid, personal safety, security and other protocols and, most importantly, managing exposure to traumatic situations.
Subject Journalism Studies
Communication Studies
Keyword(s) conflict reporting
foreign journalists
freelance journalism
newsgathering
peer support
psychological health
safety
trauma
violence and the press
ISSN 1023-9499
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Created: Fri, 29 Jul 2016, 07:37:00 EST by Catalyst Administrator
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