The Physically, Emotionally, and Financially Precarious Life of the Freelance War Reporter

They work hard for little money and put themselves in danger with no security. (“‘Any editor who has told me they will only take my Syria work on spec … I have told them straight: That is a precedent that should never have been set,’ [Ayman Oghanna, a freelance photojournalist and reporter based in Istanbul] wrote. ‘It actively encourages freelancers to take risks and die alone without any support. To be honest, it sickens me.'”) The Observer reports that war correspondents are slowly starting to organize; so far 300 reporters have joined an advocacy group founded by Mr. Oghanna and others.

To further break up any romanticism you may have of war reporting, listen to Kelly McEvers’ hourlong radio story Diary of a Bad Year.



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