Wednesday 9 September 2009

Backlash over journalist's rescue in Afghanistan

Some very hostile postings on TimesOnline today after a soldier and interpreter were killed during the rescue of kidnapped New York Times journalist Stephen Farrell, a former Times journalist.
norman hall: "Another soldier dies rescuing a journalst. Why? These journalists put themselves in danger for financial rewards and ego.It is noticeable that no word of thanks or remorse was forthcoming."
K C: "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. Journalists are not military personnel so therefore should not be anywhere near war zones. Get them all out and let the military do their job."
mike barton: "Soldier dies for a journalist that shouldn't be there in the first place. DISGRACE !"
David Porter: "What a total waste of two vital army resource units. These soldiers cost tens of thousands to train! All reporters who 'go in' against advice should be told that a resue won't happen. In this case the journalist must be sent the bill, to include compensation, for his rescue!"
Mick Green: "This is the second time this bloke's been kidnapped. He needs to be put on reporting the local fete and flower show where he might not put other people's lives at risk."
Neil Farrow: "Isn't it bad enough soldiers getting killed for a course...oh no, lets get them killed trying to free ego fuelled journo's and their media masters whose only main focus is to sell news and propagate their self worth."
However, naomi thompson wrote: "Since journalists perform an incredibly valuable public function, I think that it is churlish to begrudge this man his rescue. It is very unfortunate that a soldier died in the process, but soldiers dying in warzones is sort of to be expected. You only know what is happening in conflict areas because of people like Stephen Farrell. And to complain about it on the Times site is just idiotic. You read the stories these people report readily enough."


riverScrap said...

The journalist was doing his job. The soldier was doing his job.

It's that simple.

Jon Slattery said...

I must say I agree. I was shocked and surprised by the hostility on the TimesOnline to Stephen Farrell's rescue.
I think it is vital to have journalists working independently of the military in war zones, checking out stories for themselves rather than being "embedded".

OneRedLeg said...

It's concerning to see such a lack of regard for the value of war reporting. I can understand the frustration many readers face with the reconstituted press releases and celebrity dross that fill so many pages these days, but to see the genuinely brave efforts of reporters risking their lives to report the stories of those caught in the crossfire such a globally important conflict is pretty disheartening.