Should Journalists Be Allowed to Carry Weapons?

3 March 2017

Grenita Allen-Jones Prof. Hobbs English-90-0168 May 22, 2011 Should Journalist be Allowed to Carry Weapons? Journalist face many risk while covering stories in battle zones. This has imposed the idea of journalist carrying weapons for protection against the attacks they face. In the article Rash Report: Press Under Fire and not just War Zones, it was reported, “852 journalist have been killed because of their job, defined “motive confirmed” plus 320 deaths as a “motive uncomfirmed” (Rash).

Many people feel that journalist should be able to conceal a weapon on a risky job, others oppose this for a variety of reasons. Although journalist need protection in dangerous working conditions, they shouldn’t be allowed to carry weapons, but be provided an armed guard for protection. A large number of journalist have been held captive, sexually assualted, beaten, and even killed while working in danger zones in foreign countries. Although, they are aware of the danger they face, of the risk the take, they still decide to go into these hazardous working conditions and report these important stories.

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In the article, 4 Times Journalist Held Captive in Libya Faced Days of Brutality, the journalist informed the public of the treatment and brutality they experienced while being imprisoned by Libyian captors. They reported being tied up by their hands and feet; some were hit, punched, and even headbutted with guns. They described the beatings as “always fiercest in the first few minutes. ” The captors also put journalist in danger while battling their own enemies. Although, they said their captors provided them with some food and water, the treatment they recieved was unjust.

These journalist who are working and not involved in the events that take place in these dangerous enviroments, are constantly targeted and suffering harsh consequences. In the article, “Why We Need Women In War Zones? ”, reporter Kim Barker discusses the different situations women, including herself, have faced being on duty journalist in foreign countries. In Pakistan, as she was taking notes for a story in a crowd, men beganto grope at her. She responded by shouting at them; when their advances continued, she began punching at hem until she made a scene, and was invited into the car of the Chief of Justice. Barker also reported knowing female correspondents who weren’t “as lucky” as she. Some have been molested in their hotel rooms and some partialy raped by mobs. Most of the reporters don’t report cases of rape or sexual assualt in fear they won’t be able to cover the stories that they do. CBS Lara Logan came out and publicly announced that she was beaten and sexually assualted by a mob in the Cairo. Her attack was said to be “a brutal and sustained sexual assualt and beating. This article also stated, that men are also victims of sexual violence, and a few male journalist have reported being sodimized by their captors. Barker also stated, “Sexual violence has always been a tool of war, females reporters sometimes are just convenient. ” These are very dangerous working conditions journalist have been facing while covering stories in foreign war zones. Being that the journalist are the people that are willingly risking their lives to nationally report many important events arcoss the world, they shouldn’t be recieving this kind of treatment when in another country.

So in some countries whether you have a gun are not you can still be a target. These are the reasons people feel they way they do. But, I feel that reporters should not be allowed to carry weapons while covering storie in risky working conditions. It puts their lives just that much more at risk, when many reporters have said that it isn’t worth the risk. Armed guards should be assigned to journalist to protect them in the dangerous experiences they face while reporting stories in other countries war zones.

Some people oppose this idea just as well as the guns, for some of the same reasons. People fear the presence of an armed guard will present the journalist as a target. The journalist will appear as apart of the war, rather than an innocent bystander. That the citizens in that country will be afraid to talk to the reporters because of the armed guards, and their job won’t get done. They also feel like the armed guards may kill innocent civilians. Now this may have some truth, except the guards killin gthe innocent civilians.

The main point is too many journalist are dying in other countries, and they have nothing to do with the violent events that take place. The presence of an armed guard would make it harder for journalist to be beatin or sexually assualted. It would be harder for foreign soldiers to kidnap journalist or to kill journalist, because they would have protection. In the article, Rash Report: Press under fire, and not just in war zones, it said, “52 journalist murdered in Russia, 27 in India, 24 in Mexico, and an astonishing 71 in the Philippines (Rash). If protection were required for journalist when covering risky stories, the statistics wouldn’t be as high. Unlike journalist armed guards are trained and can provided sufficient protection against captors and mobs. Journalist are no longer seen as neutral, but apart of the problem. This is why people support the idea of having an armed guard present in dangerous environments. It is clear, journalist are facing life threatening situations and need to be protected when working in risky zones.

The high number of journalist who have been attacked, captured, beaten, missing, and killed continues to grow, as these reporters venture into other countries in hopes to cover important stories. Allowing them to carry weapons will increase the attacks, not allowing them to report puts all countries at risk of attack. The presence of an armed guard would protect the journalist from the many tragedies they face while being in other countries. Although many people feel that the idea of an armed guard can make a journalist be seen as a target, it can also be the key in saving many journalist from harsh treatment and death. (1,233)

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