The tradition in journalism school has been to stress that reporters are sometimes the first witnesses of history. The function is the journalists is to report the events as impartial observers and to avoid involvement in the story. Those guidelines may have been altered drastically with the competition of twenty hour cable news services and the continuous reporting stream of the internet.
Nevertheless, the dangers of on-location reporting were evident during the recent events in Egypt. Reporters were detained and physically assaulted. In the case of Lara Logan, the Chief Foreign Correspondent for CBS, she suffered one of the horrors that female reporters in the field fear. On the day :
"... In the crush of the mob, she was separated from her crew. She was surrounded and suffered a brutal and sustained sexual assault and beating before being saved by a group of women and an estimated 20 Egyptian soldiers. She reconnected with the CBS team, returned to her hotel and returned to the United States on the first flight the next morning. She is currently home recovering."
Some reports have Ms Logan recover in a hospital facility.
There are times when female reporters are placed in a quandary. To acknowledge such incidents may curtail their journalistic responsibilities. News organizations have been reluctant to place women in such situations whether they are so vulnerable. Male reporters are also at risk. An example was the physical assault on CNN reporter Anderson Cooper during the recent conflict in Egypt. The horrific incident of Daniel Pearl who was kidnapped and killed by Al Qaeda will remain a constant reminder of the dangers that journalists face in conflict situations.
News organizations are put in the delicate situation of reporting on a veteran fellow reporter. Ms Logan is well known in the industry and frequently has appeared on popular programs such as 60 Minutes. Most media sources are striving to handle the situation with the utmost sensitivity.
Others in the news industry are not so kind.
After the physical attack and assault on Lara Logan, Nir Rosen stated that she was a war monger and is quoted as saying that people "have to find humor in the small things
". Rosen is a fellow at the NYU Center for Law and Security. Perhaps he can explain how the word "humor" can be used in relation to the beating and sexual assault of any woman, let alone a fellow journalist.
some additional links:
Lara Logan in an interview with Charlie Rose, four days before her attack in Egypt.