Killed in the line of duty: who is killing foreign correspondents and why?

Barton, Verena
Mercer, Brad
Oosterman, Allison
Item type
Degree name
Master of Arts in Communication Studies
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Auckland University of Technology

The world of journalism is becoming increasingly dangerous, as figures published by international media organisations demonstrate. But the Western news media suggests, that particularly Western foreign correspondents are facing incredibly high risks and cases of abducted, tortured and murdered foreign correspondents are reported regularly. The question arises “Have they become targets?” Foreign correspondence has been a dangerous occupation since it first emerged during the Crimean War, when the first consistent war reporting was established. Ever since then, foreign correspondents have had to face opposition, criticism and harsh realities. However, they have also always been highly valued journalists and well-respected for their courage to travel overseas, often into conflict-riddled areas, to report important news to their audiences back home. Sometimes they have even lost their lives in the pursuit of truth. Daniel Pearl, Christian Struwe and Karen Fischer or Trent Keegan are just a few examples of the many correspondents and journalists who have died as martyrs for their profession. As the actual data published by international media organisations, such as Reporters Without Borders, the Committee to Protect Journalists or Freedom House, suggests, it has rapidly become worse for all journalists in the last 20 years and there is worse to come. It appears as if the factors leading to their deaths are increasing and will be contributing to even higher death tolls in the future. The thesis will consider such questions as: Who is there to protect journalists and foreign correspondents? Independent media organisations are trying their best. The international press is bemoaning the many deaths and governments have promulgated laws to protect their reporters, but does that actually help? Will those attempts make it better in future? And can the Western news media apparatus itself be held partly responsible for some of the deaths?

Foreign correspondent , Journalism , International press , News media , Independent media organisation , War reporting
Publisher's version
Rights statement