There’s another angle to Afghanistan in the news today – the rescuing of New York Times journalist Stephen Farrell. A British soldier was killed during the raid, along with two Afghan civilians. Afghan journalist Sultan Munadi, who had been captured along with Stephen Farrell in Kunduz, was also killed during the rescue. On the Times discussion forum today one poster, KC, reflected the views of many there.
This is absolutely disgraceful that a soldier has to put his life at risk in an effort to save someone who shouldn’t be there.
Should soldiers rescue journalists who find themselves kidnapped or endangered in a warzone?
Stephen Farrell wasn’t ’embedded’ – attached to a particular army unit. He and his follow journalist had gone of their own volition, and under their own steam to Kunduz where they were investigating an air strike on two hijcked fuel tankers.
Most people would agree that journalists serving in war zones serve a very useful purpose. They risk their lives to bring the truth of war to those of us who want to know what goes on, but can’t go there ourselves. But when things go awry, should soldiers be risking their lives to pick up the pieces?
Many people posting on this discussion forum say no.
Would journalists still go to dangerous areas if there was no chance of someone – be it the UN or armies – to help them if they got into a tight spot?
And another questions – can journalists genuinely say they are independent reporters if they are rescued from one side by the other?