In all the discussion about journalist casualties in Iraq, I have heard no one comment on the fact that the media's behavior increases the risk to its reporters. The goal of the terrorists in Iraq, like that of terrorists everywhere, is not to inflict casualties, but rather to frighten people by creating the impression of lawlessness and illustrate the inability of legally constituted authorities to maintain order and provide protection. The media are a vital tool in achieving this goal. If the terrorists can get more media coverage by killing or seriously injuring one reporter than by killing a division of Iraqi soldiers, guess whom they are going to target.I think Hockert may be on to something;)
If the networks really wanted to protect their reporters, they would do the following: First, issue large press decals to put on helmets, vehicles, etc. so that reporters were readily identifiable. Second, establish a well-publicized policy that any terrorist injury or killing of a reporter would cause a one-week blackout of any coverage of terrorist acts in Iraq. All coverage from Iraq for that week would focus on progress in rebuilding the nation and "good" news. Such a policy would reduce the deaths of, and injuries to, reporters in Iraq by at least a factor of 10. After all, how many al-Jeezera reporters have been killed by the Iraqi terrorists? The Iraqi terrorists are bloodthirsty and evil, but within their warped view of the world, they are not stupid.
Sadly, the media seem willing to risk the lives of their reporters in order to focus on the bad news in Iraq.
And it's not just terrorists that are smarter than the media, the MSM's intended audience has largely outgrown them as well.