— Is It Possible to Make Dangerous Reporting Safe?Michael Kelly was killed in a Humvee accident in Iraq.... Bob Woodruff was blown up by an I.E.D. Damn near every reporter covering the Egyptian revolution was assaulted one way or another, including Lara Logan, in the most awful possible way.... Hundreds of reporters around the world are attacked every year on the job. Is that a necessity?
The Lara Logan story was shocking enough that this conversation is inevitable. First, we'll hear the questions of blame: Did CBS do enough to protect her? Did she do enough to protect herself? Who was responsible for her safety? Who's the culprit?
Reporting, in certain situations—wars, revolutions, assorted uprisings of all types—is an inherently dangerous business. To the extent that we mitigate that danger, we often mitigate the value of the reporting, as well.
Embedding journalists with a battalion of Marines is safer for the journalists themselves than roaming free; it also severely limits the scope of their reporting, and tends to encourage a sort of Stockholm Syndrome that's not conducive to free and independent journalism..... Likewise, covering a revolution from a hotel balcony, or covering the Iraq War exclusively from inside the Green Zone, means being willing to leave unknown such a large part of the story that your entire justification for being there is thrown into question.