What's it Like to Be a War Reporter?

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Curated by informed

An immersion into the dangerous reality of covering war and conflict.

  • Although many agree with the maxim that journalists should never “become the story”, war reporters often take risks to advance their careers and get a particular story they believe needs to be told.
  • Many war reporters are freelancers, as budgets in the media business shrink and major news organisations often consider it too risky to send their staff into war zones.
  • These freelance reporters often lack the kind of security, support and insurance staff colleagues enjoy while out on a job, and few have been given proper hostile environment training.
  • Conflicts such as the Bosnian war triggered tighter security protocols for news organisations, and ushered in the practice of sharing logistics with rival reporting teams.
  • The Arab Spring and the Syrian Civil War in particular created a new type of war reporter, as scores of citizen journalists documented violence with their mobile phones via social media.
  • Such citizen war reporting is often said to blur the line between objective journalism and activism, but is increasingly often the only way to gather insights into a dangerous conflict.
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5 articles on this topic

Al Jazeera

How the siege of Sarajevo changed war reporting

8 min read

This Is Where War Reporters Go to Learn How to Stay Alive on the Front Lines

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9 min read
Nieman Reports

The Risks of Relying on Citizen Journalists to Cover the War in Syria | Nieman Reports

5 min read
The Guardian

China's new generation of war correspondents hit the front line

4 min read