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Thread: Journalists under Fire: The Psychological Hazards of Covering War

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    Deceased, but remembered fondly here... johnastovall's Avatar
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    Journalists under Fire: The Psychological Hazards of Covering War

    Journalists under Fire: The Psychological Hazards of Covering War, covers in depth the psychological issues touched on via anecdote in The Bang Bang Club.


    This is must reading for anyone thinking about photographing in conflict zones.

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  2. #2
    Artorius
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    Re: Journalists under Fire: The Psychological Hazards of Covering War

    Quote Originally Posted by johnastovall View Post
    Journalists under Fire: The Psychological Hazards of Covering War, covers in depth the psychological issues touched on via anecdote in The Bang Bang Club.


    This is must reading for anyone thinking about photographing in conflict zones.
    John,

    Although I admire your thoughts, I must disagree with the links you posted. I was a USN Combat Photographer/Journalist in over 6 conflicts. We knew before we volunteered to be Combat Photographers, what we we were in for. We had to go through the same training as in-country combat soldiers had to do, SEAR, etc. Civilian Phojos also know, among the others knew what was going on and took the risk of venturing into war. Look into Africa, Nicaragua, Rhodesia, Cambodia, Sandinista, and all the rest.
    The major change now in the Iraq/Afghanistan fronts, where they(insurgents) have no regard for human life or foreign journalists, and simply abduct you, and whack off your head on camera. That in itself would turn a lot of journalists away. Why do they keep coming back? The story. F*ck everything else, they want the Pulitzer or more, but if they don't get it, they will accept the SSI check because of PT SD.
    Sorry to all the real phojos that really care, but as a Phojo from many conflicts, I am sick to death of the liberal whiners and their excuses.
    My advice;
    Civilian, Go into a combat zone, expect death, beheading, wounds, and now in Iraq/Afghanistan, death.
    There is no hope for you, unless you know the odds.

    ADDED-
    I would go back tomorrow(war) if the price was right. I know the risks, and would add the ask the price to reflect the possible outcome of my not returning to my family. They know who/what I do for a living. They would be sad at my demise(I can only hope), but they would know I did to get the truth for all to see.
    Last edited by Artorius; 22nd November 2008 at 00:07.

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    Workshop Member MikeScecina's Avatar
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    Re: Journalists under Fire: The Psychological Hazards of Covering War

    Well said, Art.

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    Senior Member stephengilbert's Avatar
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    Re: Journalists under Fire: The Psychological Hazards of Covering War

    I guess wars should only be reported on by people who love war.

    That should work.

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Journalists under Fire: The Psychological Hazards of Covering War

    Well actually i think Art hit the nail on the head . At one time both sides had respect for the journalist in the field of course there where some political exceptions to this. War today as Art says is value of human life is meaningless in respect to the journalist in the field. The enemy does not care just another kill for them. I almost did this field many years ago when it actually mattered to people what was going on in these conflicts. Today i don't think on the ground reporting is viewed as it once was or maybe better said valued to the folks at home.
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  6. #6
    Artorius
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    Re: Journalists under Fire: The Psychological Hazards of Covering War

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Well actually i think Art hit the nail on the head . At one time both sides had respect for the journalist in the field of course there where some political exceptions to this. War today as Art says is value of human life is meaningless in respect to the journalist in the field. The enemy does not care just another kill for them. I almost did this field many years ago when it actually mattered to people what was going on in these conflicts. Today i don't think on the ground reporting is viewed as it once was or maybe better said valued to the folks at home.
    Guy, you got it. In the current conflict areas, there is NO regard for human life, anyones, period. If a person knows the risks going in, there is/should be no issues when they get home. I also agree that 'on the ground reportage' these days is less influencing than say, Viet Nam or Cambodia in the 60's & 70's. There are so many restrictions put on civilian journalists, that even if you are seen shooting(cameras)without PRIOR permission, you can be escorted to the nearest point of exit, for your trip home. There is no one you can argue your case with, you are done in that theater of operations. Photojournalism has never been about the photographer, it's the story. Very jaded to me. They knew the risks going in, but to come home and complain about it seems pointless.

    Don't get me wrong, I think Journalists should be there, and there are a few really good ones in position over there now. I also wish they had a free hand at their job, but I also realize the US Military is babysitting them for a reason. Now, if one goes astray and finds one's own demise, it will just be another check for the liberal media. "Why didn't the Military protect this journalist?" Why, because they couldn't. If we have to watch another civilian beheading, we really are going to lose it. I just don't see how, in restricting them is really letting us know the whole truth as was available in prior conflicts. With those restrictions in place, I personally couldn't/wouldn't deal with it.

    As far as "I guess wars should only be reported on by people who love war. That should work."
    That is both absurd and true at the same time. My reply to this is to say to that is people who understand war are in a better position to report on it only, and a big IF, they were actually allowed to report it as they are able to see it.

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