Just how much is a journalist’s life worth?

Robert Fisk asks the key question. In the aftermath of the assassination of anti-Syrian Lebanese journalist Samir Kassir, and the ever-increasing rate of murdered journalists around the world, Fisk wonders what keeps him going, and his battered profession.

“I’m still not sure why I still walk in harm’s way. There’s nothing vicarious about war and I’m no war junkie. The thousands of bodies I’ve seen prove that death is just a heartbeat away. But “monitoring the centres of power” – to use Amira Hass’s fine description of journalism and its business of challenging governments – means witnessing the filth of the battlefield. To do that, you’ve got to go there.”

His main gripe is with propaganda journalism masquerading as objective reporting (“…the way in which too many of us like to pose on screen, to put military helmets on our heads, to parade our flak jacketed selves in front of tanks, to dress up in army costume.”) When the reporter or commentator becomes the combatant, journalism descends into farce.

We know all about such people in Australia.

Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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