Thursday, July 05, 2007

Anderson in peril or is he missing his blue shirt?

Oh the tales of the blue shirt! How many complains we have read about it, some call it the filthy stinky and sometimes even Anderson's security blanket. Sure he can afford more shirts, but maybe it's his lucky one. Anderson must be missing it... particularly what it represents: FIELD REPORTING! Get out of the studio Anderson!

When we started the FreakSpeakers project we wanted to focus on the behind the scenes and the perils of being a journalist. It has been awhile since we last blogged about the topic but for the newbies we will be repeating some of the post of our archives ( hey if Anderson Cooper and CNN repeats to the 9th degree why can't we? It's summer!). This post was first published October 15, 2006 and since then our community and readers have increased significantly.

Why the Blue Shirt and other concerns


Minimizing Risks in Conflict Zones

Comportment
How journalists conduct themselves in the field may help save their lives, and the unwritten rules can vary from conflict to conflict. In some situations, for example, it may make sense for journalists to have a high profile, while in others, drawing attention to yourself may draw a hostile reaction from combatants. Talking with seasoned reporters who have covered the region is essential; veteran correspondents are usually generous with advice to newcomers.
Clothing and Culture
Journalists should be mindful of the kind and color of clothes they wear in war zones. Members of the media should always place prominent labels on their clothing (including helmets) that clearly identify them as press. Journalists who accompany armed combatants—irrespective of whether the combatants are uniformed— must consider how their own clothes may look from a distance. Bright and light colors that reflect a lot of sunlight may make a journalist too conspicuous. But wearing camouflage or military green could make journalists targets. Depending on the terrain, dark blue or dark brown may be preferable. In particular, some photojournalists prefer black because it doesn’t reflect light, but some combatants, especially rebel forces, often wear black. Of course, journalists should also respect local sensibilities. This includes men and women dressing as decorum may require. Foreign journalists of both sexes should also be aware of practices that could be offensive in some cultures.
Weapons
Journalists covering conflicts should never carry arms or travel with other journalists who carry weapons. Doing so jeopardizes a journalist’s status as a neutral observer and can make combatants view correspondents as legitimate military targets. In some particularly dangerous conflicts, journalists have hired armed guards. The practice first became widespread among television crews and reporters covering Somalia in the early 1990s after journalists traveling without armed guards were robbed at gunpoint. Journalists who use armed guards, however, should recognize that they may be jeopardizing their status as neutral observers. For example, CNN crews used armed guards in northern Iraq in 2003. On one occasion, unidentified attackers shot CNN’s vehicle, which was clearly marked with “Press,” and CNN’s hired guard returned fire. The gunmen continued to shoot the vehicle as it turned around and drove away. CNN International president, Chris Cramer, defended the network’s use of armed guards as necessary to protect CNN personnel in Iraq. Robert Menard, secretary- general of the Paris-based press freedom watchdog group Reporters sans Frontières, however, criticized CNN, saying that the practice “risks endangering all other reporters.” Many broadcasters now regularly employ experts from private security firms to accompany their news crews in the field, but these experts are not armed and primarily provide guidance on movements in conflict areas, including large street demonstrations.
Participatory Behavior
For their own protection, journalists should not engage in participatory behavior on the battlefield, such as identifying enemy locations, and they must be mindful at all times of their behavior, language, and attitude toward combatants. Whether they are embedded with military forces or traveling independently, the only role that journalists should play on the battlefield is that of observer. All journalists must remember that participatory behavior while traveling with combatants—or anywhere within a conflict area— an put them and their colleagues in danger.

11 comentarios:

Anonymous said...

maybe Molly ate it

Anonymous said...

Does that mean I will have to fight a dog over a shirt?

lawyer in DC said...

of course you can recycle the posts! you do a lot of things, work, writes and the blog looks great and you do it all by yourself not even the ones with as much as a basketball team can compare to yours.

jr said...

Prior to reading this post, my opinion about the color of the shirt AC wears while in the field would be the same as what color tie he's wearing in the studio...does it really matter?

I guess it does when you are reporting in conflicted areas.

Thanks for clearing that up. As usual, you have enlightened me.

Suzanne said...

I always wondered why he wore the same shirt - now I know. But surely he could buy another one that isn't so threadbare and faded in the same color?? It must be his favorite shirt that he'll wear until it falls off.

Anonymous said...

Thanks teacher! I did not know that about the colors. Next time I'm stopping by Iraq, I'll bring my blue shirt :-) LOL

Anonymous said...

So, is Anderson planning on a trip for next week so he can wear it? Seriously, is he planning a trip?

Anonymous said...

As ususal great and informative post! Maybe reasons like what's in your post and maybe for sentimental reasons.

tink said...

Hey All :-)
I just found out by trial/error that you are able to view the YouTube video deabate entries.

To view the already posted videos: go to the home page, click on the box along the left side of the page that reads "YouTube Debates" and has a pic of Anderson as well.

http://www.youtube.com/

Anonymous said...

Does he even have Molly anymore?

Anonymous said...

Looks like Anderson spent his time off last week at Yelllowstone:

http://kimbalandbecca.blogspot.com/search?q=anderson+cooper

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