Journalism On the Edge

Why threats to the press aren’t funny no matter who they come from:

The fate of journalists kidnapped in Syria is a terrifying mystery. As of press time, at least 30 journalists, as well as a number of humanitarian actors, are languishing in captivity.2 In only a few cases do their colleagues or employers know where they are or who is determining their fate. In almost no cases have their captors made any effort to communicate. It is as if these unlucky men and women have simply disappeared.

The rest of the piece touches on how freelancers, without large media company backing or the money to hire private security (however ineffective it might be), are particularly vulnerable in places like Syria, and how a number of major news organizations have stopped taking stories from independent journalists working on the ground.

Which has stopped some men and women not a bit from trying, in their own ways, to make sense of the story.

This is the sort of work that’s betrayed and overlooked by those who call what Politico and Good Morning America do “journalism.” I don’t just get angry at that shit because it’s stupid and trivial. I get angry at it because with the money that we spend WINNING THE AFTERNOON and sandwiching suburban child kidnapping news between sitcom promos, we could support good work like this, and have funds left over.

A.

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