WASHINGTON, DC, Day 8 of 40 — This is what “freelancing” looked like in the 1980s. No body armor. No helmet. And moving with great freedom among combatants on each side of the conflict. We enjoyed relative immunity from intentional violence. I stress “relative immunity” from “intentional” violence. Too many of my friends and colleagues were killed or wounded while seeking the truth in the heat of battle.
It’s different today. Journalists are regarded with suspicion. We have become targets for extremists and — especially in Latin America — organized crime. Gangs.
This is particularly worrisome for freelancers, who very often lack the support routinely offered to staff correspondents working overseas. In spite of the tenuous nature of freelancing, many journalists choose that path for the freedom and the independence it offers.
For information about my new documentary series, FREELANCERS, click HERE.