Macho war reporting is getting a little out of hand

Macho war reporting is getting a little out of hand

As Rupert Wingfield-Hayes, the BBC News reporter in Libya, dashed out of Gaddafi’s compound under heavy fire a couple of days ago, I wondered just how far he might go to get a great piece of footage.

Would he accept a shot through the leg if he scored a zillion YouTube hits?

To be fair to Rupert, he has to do something fairly extreme just to keep pace with Sky News’s plucky Alex Crawford, who supplied riveting footage from the back of a rebel pick-up truck as it steamed towards the centre of Tripoli.

Of course, war journalists have always been part of the action. For goodness sake, Winston Churchill combined the roles of journalist, soldier and even prisoner during the Boer War more than 100 years ago. But at least he’d been trained for combat, whereas Alex and Rupert look as though they don’t know one end of a Kalashnikov from the other.

I enjoy modern TV war reporting as much as the next viewer, and it’s certainly brought front-line clarity to Gaddafi’s last stand. But I’d feel tremendously guilty if Rupert’s and Alex’s one-upmanship got one of them killed.

Guys, it’s just not worth it!

Article date

August 30th, 2011

Robert Taylor

Media Trainer

@RT_MediaTrainer

My main passion is media training, and I’m proud to be one of the UK’s most experienced and successful trainers in this field.

Please Post Your Comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

2 × five =

Another politician falls victim to the dreaded “Gotcha” interview

Another politician falls victim to the dreaded “Gotcha” interview

So this time it’s Emily Thornberry, Shadow Secretary of State for…

Why Lance Armstrong’s apology won’t work

Why Lance Armstrong’s apology won’t work

A self-serving apology is not worth the air waves it’s carried…