Never one to shy away from the chaotic pandemonium that is often associated with grabbing the latest headline, “A-list” reporter Anderson Cooper fell victim to the rough and tumble clashes between pro- and anti-Egyptian government factions. Noting the attack on his Twitter account, Cooper gave a brief synopsis of the incident, which featured 10 blows to his face and head. With violence escalating and emotions running high, Cooper vows to remain in Egypt and continue reporting on the events surrounding the government backlash and emerging coup.
Despite numerous warnings and escalating violence, Cooper, a dedicated professional, remains steadfast. Many ask what possesses a journalist to indiscriminately subject his- or herself to the daily punishment and personal danger of the world at war. For most, it’s an insatiable call for action. For others, it’s a never-ending quest for the truth.
Mark Minin, a well-known Russian journalist, was shot four times as he walked to his car on May 18, 2010. Minin, who sustained wounds to his hip, chest and shoulder, believes that the attack was a result of his critical reporting on Russian governmental agencies.
In November 2010, Russian journalist Oleg Kashin was beaten nearly to death outside his home. The alleged attackers reportedly waited outside of Kashin’s apartment, holding flowers. While robbery was ruled out, as no valuables were taken, many suspect the motive to be based on Kashin’s statements against the Russian government and its failure to act on various fronts.
Barely a month ago, Razaq Mamoon, a prominent Afghan author and journalist, was seriously injured as an unknown assailant splashed acid into his face in retaliation for his politically charged writing. Mamoon, his face splotchy with red and black patches, spoke to an Afghan television station from his hospital bed, to inform the Mid-East nation of the attack.
Within the walls of chaos, journalists must take precautions to ensure their safety. Though sometimes irrelevant to the throngs of danger, a journalist needs to follow basic self defense and preservation strategies, in order to ensure the best possible chance for survival.
Keep Awareness High – Nothing says “easy target” like a person oblivious to his or her surroundings. By keeping the head up and alert, it shows confidence and awareness, lessening the chance for a sneak attack.
Knowledge is Key – Have a plan. Visualize your future steps. Know your surroundings. A sense of your surroundings is a priceless commodity.
Garner Your Assets – Keeping a close-knit group of associates at all times. The buddy system isn’t just a child-welfare technique. There is safety in numbers, as is demonstrated by the angry mobs. In order to preserve your own skin, it does not hurt to stay tightly compacted. In a group.
What drives these masons of the written work is summed up with a simple word: bravery. Each and every journalist pushes themselves to the breaking point, physically, mentally and emotionally, in order to bring the news to the forefront. With a multitude of dangerous situation in the headway of each and every assignment, it is becoming evermore complicated for the professional journalist to bring the factual accounts of world happenings to the masses. Though situation continuously fluctuate, the drive for truth and enlightenment remains unchanged.
We continue to monitor breaking world events, through the eyes and voices of these brave souls. Some call it frivolous, some call it fearlessness. Regardless, without them, our world reduces itself into a shriveled mass of locality.
Amanda Scheffler, Anderson Cooper to stay in Egypt after being attacked, http://www.examiner.com/celebrity-headlines-in-cleveland/anderson-cooper-to-stay-egypt-after-being-attacked
CNN Wire Staff, Russian journalist in dire condition after attack, http://articles.cnn.com/2010-11-06/world/russia.journalist.attacked_1_russian-journalist-cpj-ivan-safronov?_s=PM:WORLD
Radio Free Europe, Russian journalist attacked in Siberian city, http://www.rferl.org/content/Russian_Journalist_Attacked_In_Siberian_City/2046917.html
Amir Shaw, Afghan journalist attacked with acid, http://www.mercurynews.com/nation-world/ci_17135806?nclick_check=1