Monday, April 03, 2006

The Killing Fields revisited

The timing of The Killing Fields could not have been at a more appropriate time considering the release of Jill Carroll by her Iraqi captors. Several parallels could be made between the movie and the real life Carroll story.

I believe that taking risks as a journalist is a matter to be decided by the journalist only. He or she must decide if loyalty to their employer or loyalty to discovering and reporting information will justify taking risks. It is not unlike the soldiers themselves – they have decided to take risks for their own reasons.

Should the journalist ask others to take risks as well? I think that it is appropriate to ask, but the person needs to know the risks – if for no other reason than that one can be open to a lawsuit if he is reckless in his requests of others.

Taking risks also needs to be weighed against the potential good. As in investing ones money or talents, higher risks often result in higher rewards.


tyandnan said...

It definately becomes an interesting question of loyalties and duties. I would have to say that I agree as far as the individual journalist is concerned, he or she is the only one who can make that decision. The risk of a human life should only be decided by the human involved.
As to weather the journalist is free to ask others, well I'm not so sure about that. He or she understands the risks and has made his or her choice, but others have the same right as the jounrnalist did to make their decision without judgement falling upon them.
I know that the stories are important, and hope that somebody will report them, but nobody has the right to expect that of anybody, not even those out there doing it. Ask away, but it shouldn't be required. I guess that's more what I'm trying to say. Our professional journalists have made their choice of employment, so we can as a society hope that some will go, but not require it, nor can those willing require it of others.

smokey said...

It makes me wonder what my personal tolerance for risk is - probably pretty low. I admit that now I have more appreciation for those who are willing to take risks to defend their values and loyalties - wether they be fighting the battles or reporting on them.