Journalists as a protected category : a new status for the media in international humanitarian law
Host item entries:
UCLA journal of international law and foreign affairs, Vol. 17, issue 1 & 2, Spring 2013, p. 215-250
The nature of modern warfare has vastly changed the role of journalists in conflict and, therefore, the reliability of the protections afforded to them. Countries such as the United States have interpreted international humanitarian law in such a way that leaves journalists vulnerable to targeting decisions based solely on the content of their writings. International law must take a firm step forward in not only securing de facto protection for journalists, but in reaffirming their importance to the public. Such a step may best be taken by adopting a new status for journalists. Under this new status, a journalist could not be said to have directly participated in conflict without a proven intention to incite violence and would therefore remain immune from direct targeting no matter how much the content of the reporting supports or undermines the objectives of a belligerent party.