Journalists risk lives for truth
Published: Sunday, February 20, 2011
Updated: Sunday, February 20, 2011 23:02
In nearly all the stories lately about political unrest and protests in several Africa and Asia countries, one seldom-told story is that of the journalists who risk their lives every day to deliver the facts to their audience.
The most notable examples are Anderson Cooper from CNN and Lara Logan from CBS, both injured by supporters of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak targeting American journalists during one of the many recent protests in Egypt.
Cooper was hit several times in the head and Logan was beaten and sexually assaulted.
We respect these journalists and many others like them who never falter in the face of danger while on the quest for truth. With the recent political turmoil, we can only expect more tragic incidents like the ones involving Cooper and Logan.
However, this is the price that must be paid to spread the word of the plight of thousands of oppressed people. This is what must happen to inspire change.
Not to toot our own horn, but it does take a truly brave person to enter into a profession where they may someday have to enter into an angry mob or even war, often unarmed.
We may not extinguish burning buildings or remove criminals from the street, but we do pride ourselves on our ability to find the truth and disseminate it to the public at whatever cost is necessary.
As dangerous as these situations may be, the media cannot ignore such pressing issues in favor of a safer route.
The public needs to see what is happening while it's happening. In cases like these, reporting from a safe distance or a newsroom doesn't have the same impact.
Looking to the past, we recall the Vietnam War, in which CBS anchor Walter Cronkite provided in-depth coverage and gave Americans information they wouldn't have known otherwise.
Through his reporting, Cronkite declared the war to be unwinnable and was named "the most trusted man in America" along the way.
This is exactly the kind of reporting journalists need to exhibit in order to regain the trust that was lost through subpar coverage of incidents like 9/11.
We want our readers to know that journalists are not bad people and although we do make mistakes, the majority of us strive to make the truth known and would never slant a story to make it seem sensational or add extravagant details.
We here at The Future have not yet had the opportunity to face any serious dangers or cover stories of national importance, but for some of us this fate is inevitable.
Hilda Perez worked as an embedded photographer in a military unit before becoming a photojournalism professor at UCF. She never embellished her photos to portray anything other than what was actually happening.
We say this to shed some light onto our profession, which some people think is riddled with sensationalism and desperation.
We hope that every time you read an article or watch a broadcast that you think of the courage and dedication shown by these journalists who risk their lives to deliver you the information in your morning paper or evening newscast.