War reporters with guns

There’s something a bit odd about praising a war reporter who carries a gun. In an article titled “War correspondent deserves Pulitzer Prize” in The Montgomery Advertiser, Alvin Benn talks about his colleague veteran war reporter Joe Galloway,

Speaking to pilots at Maxwell Air Force Base last week, [Joe] praised actor Barry Pepper for portraying him in “We Were Soldiers,” but did take exception to one error. “They had me carrying an M-16 rifle, but I’m from Texas and I brought my own gun,” Joe said, to uproarious laughter from the pilots. War correspondents are supposed to report, not take part in battles, but Joe didn’t have much choice — not when enemy troops were only a few feet away and trying to kill him. link

Dunno about you, but there is a line and he crossed it. And I’m not sure you can call anyone who carries a gun into war a reporter and they certainly shouldn’t be up for a Pulitzer. It’s something The International News Safety Institute seem to agree with,

“Journalists increasingly are being targeted in conflict largely because they have lost, in the eyes of certain elements, their status as neutral observers. If they bear arms they reinforce this misguided belief by placing themselves on one side or another,” said the INSI director, Rodney Pinder. link