How many journalists were killed in 2017?
If journalism is “more important than ever”, according to journalists themselves, then let’s make certain we know how safe reporters are.
So how many died on the job this year?
No one actually knows.
Maybe 42 dead.
It could be 50 dead.
Maybe 65 dead.
This is sloppy record-keeping to the point of being obscene. You proclaim to know what is going on in the world…but not how many of your own died on the job in a single year?
The head count should be precise. You should know the names of every stringer, reporter, camera person, and any other news producer — including bloggers — who died on the job.
Because if you care enough about the numbers, you will also develop a far better system of protecting journalists doing their jobs.
But j-schools don’t bother teaching things like that to students. Self-defence should be an integral part, and I am not advocating Krav Maga or kickboxing — I mean how to protect yourself in dangerous situations through a variety of techniques and strategies.
Like having a war manual.
It won’t protect every reporter, but it should be effective enough that reporters have methods to prevent tragedy that they obviously do not have now.
There is no system in place because media outlets do not actually think they have to protect journalists because the kinds of stories they pursue are trivial.
Like staring at Twitter counting Donald Trump’s Tweets.
Or gossiping about which actors are having affairs with each other.
And even if you have a system, it has to be constantly updated before others crack those methods.
It’s shameful, but not surprising in the least that reporters don’t even know about the dangers that surround them or how many of their own never come home.