A risky calling: Reuters’ correspondent Peter Apps reflects on risks taken by journalists in international warzones

23 July, 2014

A member of the Wilton Park Advisory Council and Reuters’ global Defence Correspondent, Peter Apps, reflects on the risks taken by journalists reporting from international warzones in an article for Al Jazeera, A risky calling.

Peter provides a description of his own accident in Sri Lanka back in 2006 when he was paralysed from the shoulders down, an image which provides context for the article’s content. Emphasising that although every effort is made to keep the dangers down, certain risks are inevitable for journalists in conflict zones and less developed countries. Still, despite awareness of the possibility of death he had never considered the prospect of disability on such an extreme scale.

He takes us through the experience of returning home and dealing with the consequences of his accident, and questioning whether or not it was worth it. The resounding message is that, despite his injury, his life was not finished and over half of the 19 countries he has visited as a reporter have been since the accident. However, his experience serves as a resounding lesson regarding the risks that journalists who work in permanently dangerous countries face, and the need for constant risk judging for anyone who is on the ground.

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