Should journalists be armed?

Following the recent fatal shooting of Russian reporter Anastasia Baburova, who worked for Russia's liberal opposition newspaper Novaya Gazeta, the paper's management announced last week it had appealed to Russian authorities to allow its journalists to carry weapons.

Similar requests have been made to authorities in Iraq and Mexico, where journalists are killed and attacked in high numbers, and where cases seldom result in successful prosecutions.

But many journalists, press freedom advocates and others say defending people from criminals is the obligation of the state, not journalists. Furthermore, they say, putting guns in the hands of reporters will only add to the culture of violence.

What do you think? If allowed, would you carry a weapon to defend yourself from assassins?

Sound of mind, not necessarily the body

there is a saying that goes with how the police were losing out to cartels: police had handguns, the cartels automatic weapons, so the police got bullet-proof vests, but the cartels upgraded to armoured piercing weapons.

Point being the escalation will not stop.

However, when you live in a place where the authorities themselves are under constant attack, where you as a journalist face threat from both the criminals and the state, who do you turn to? When you get threatened for not relaying some one's propaganda for any multitude of editorial reasons?

What do you do?

Guns may not be the answer, but what is the answer then?

Gun invites killers

I have been in the Philippine Army for three years and criminal investigator with Los Baños, Laguna Police Department way back in 1951-54 and 1956-57, respectively. When I joined the Fourth Estate I keep away from carrying gun because it only invites killers to do harm. In war, a journalist cannot handle the pen with gun. Priority is using the pen to record the events for the right of the public to know. Journalist knows the risk, especially in combat areas. Journalist are neutral that without gun in hand may save his life.

Should journalists be armed?

Your image with this article explains everything, a journalist should be armed with bullet proof clothing only in areas of conflict and as the guy is doing in the image keep there head down. When journalists are in a position of conflict and rely on troops this will effect the objectivity of reporting, handing a civilian like a journalist is debatable depending on location. Its difficult to say the changes that will need to be implemented to protect writing about such matters, well done though, this was a nice simple article about an ever increasing threat.


Its possible idea. But, if the journalists are armed they would publish unupdated news because they have fully confidence in being armed.

is not it logic?

شات مصرية - دردشة مصرية - شات

شات مصرية - دردشة مصرية - شات مصري

شات القاهرة ، دردشة القاهرة ، شات دردشة القاهرة ، شات دردشة جامعة القاهرة

شات الاسكندرية - دردشة الاسكندرية - شات دردشة الاسكندرية - شات دردشة جامعة الاسكندرية

شات المنصورة - دردشة المنصورة

شات البحيرة - دردشة البحيرة

شات الفيوم - دردشة الفيوم

شات الغربية - دردشة الغربية

شات الدقهلية - دردشة الدقهلية

شات الاسماعيلية - دردشة الاسماعيلية

شات الجيزة - دردشة الجيزة

شات المنوفية - دردشة المنوفية

شات المنيا - دردشة المنيا

شات البحر الاحمر - دردشة البحر الاحمر

شات القليوبية - دردشة القليوبية

شات الاقصر - دردشة الاقصر

شات الوادى الجديد - دردشة الوادى الجديد

شات الشرقية - دردشة الشرقية

شات السويس - دردشة السويس

شات اسوان - دردشة اسوان

شات اسيوط - دردشة اسيوط

شات بني سويف - دردشة بني سويف

شات بورسعيد - دردشة بورسعيد

شات دمياط - دردشة دمياط

شات كفر الشيخ - دردشة كفر الشيخ

شات مطروح - دردشة مطروح

شات قنا - دردشة قنا

شات جنوب سيناء - دردشة جنوب سيناء

شات شمال سيناء - دردشة شمال سيناء

شات سوهاج - دردشة سوهاج

شات عسل ـ دردشة عسل

شات الشلة ـ دردشة الشلة

شات فلة ـ دردشة فله

شات دردشة ـ دردشة دردشة

شات شبيك لبيك ـ دردشة شبيك لبيك

شات العنابى ـ دردشة العنابى

شات حب شات الحب دردشة حب حب شات حب شات حبي الحب شات دردشة مصرية شات مصرى شات مصرية دردشة مصراوية شات بنات مصر شات سوريا شات عمان شات لبنان شات بنات شات المنصورة شات القليوبية شات المنوفية دردشة ليبيا شات السودان شات اليمن دردشة بنات السعودية دردشة السعودية شات سعودي دردشة بنات فلسطين دردشة بنات الكويت شات بنات الامارات شات بنات البحرين دردشة قطرية دردشة بنات قطر شات بنات الاردن دردشة عربية شات بنات تونس شات القاهرة دردشة القاهرة دردشة الاسكندرية شات اليكس شات الجيزة دردشة الجيزة راديو اف ام Fm Radio راديو محطة مصر شات الجزائر دردشة الجزائر شات مغربي دردشة بنات المغرب شات الشلة شات دردشة شات دمياط شات بورسعيد اذاعة القران الكريم راديو قران كريم دردشه الغردقة شات شرم الشيخ دردشة الاقصر شات اسوان دردشه المنيا دردشة الحب شات حبنا شات دردشة شات غرام دردشة غرام شات عسل شات عشق شات سعودي كول شات العنابي شات الملك شات برق دردشة برق شات دلع شات لمسة حب شات شوبيك لوبيك شات تعب قلبي شات عسل راديو روتانا

I really think they should

I really think they should carry some type of taser gun or real weapon with permit .

abdul hakkim, news editor,

abdul hakkim, news editor, mangalam daily, kerala,india journalist should not be armed. already we have arms, the pen and the camera. we have to need more observation power, courage, truth and unbaised action. napoleon bonaparte said: ' i fear the might of a pen more than hundred thousands of bayonets' . this words including the value of a journalist.


Unfortunately,our contemporary world is menaced by the phenomenon of illegal armed trade consequent armed struggle.this has and is promoting the spread of bloodletting in some parts of the world particularly in the third world Peace advocates are currently campaigning for peaceful co existence.of people.considering the submission of Thomas Hobbes on the concept of the 'state of nature',people consent their will to the government to guarantee their security.Legalizing the use of arm for journalists will only amount to promoting the Hobbesian state of nature,where 'life is nasty brutish and short ' Its the responsibility of the state to protect her citizens irrespective of their status.i am of the opinion that this state of insecurity is caused by capitalism which the world is contending with.the survivalist struggle has resulted in arms proliferation. Nevertheless,every profession has its hazard including journalism .the use of arm by journalists is out of the will be suicidal to continue to promote anarchy.The state should play its role of protecting lives and property.

It's very worrying that

It's very worrying that colleagues in the media are being killed left, right and centre ironically for the good job they are doing-Checking on democracies. None of us is safe. Well, the idea here is, journalists should not retaliate with weapons, let's use the power of the pen to fight back. I know I'm not convincing enough.It just sounds easy when you are told to remain neutral and impartial where you very well know that you can rule things out, say 'right or wrong' and you dont have the authority to do so.

If journalists were allowed to be armed, what would have been the fate for our friend, the former US president, George Bush with the Iraqi journalist? These are some of the questions we need to ask ourselves. Journalists also have feelings and its only the chance to express them that they dont have.

It is therefore a full responsibility of the various states to protect their journalists whether they shoot the governments on the feet or praise them. The international community should also step in to ridicule and sanction democracies trying to hide the truth by killing journalists.

I know the truth hurts, but it's the same truth that we will keep on telling our societies and our governments. We shall persist and not back off. The better option is for the governments to be transparent. If the solution would be to arm journalists then I don't know where we'll be headed to, you can imagine the disaster.

Rosemary Nchinyei, Kenya

I was very late but I believe

I was very late but I believe journalists should not be armed. It is unfortunate that most leaders feel that speaking out or writing certain unpalatable truths is a crime. What remains as a crime is the deed itself . Journalists are conveyors of this truth and it is critical that leaders should be sensitive to response in the same manner not armed response.

from where i'm standing, I

from where i'm standing, I think in war zones like Gaza, journalists should at least have somekind of special protection, but not armed, wepones wont do any good in war zones ! so wuts the use, wearing a flak jacket or anything like that "yes" , an armed Jeep " sure" but weapons, i'm not sure i agree with that since its useless in doing wut its supposed to do , which is protecting journalists lives ! weapones never help it just put u in more troubls. the Sad thing is it can be a necessary, in the field i'm the only female photojournalist and I really thought about this ALOT to have any kind of way to defend and protect my life, still couldn't have any ...

Who is trying to rebrand

Who is trying to rebrand journalism with weaponry acquisition? I totally and absolutely condemn the idea for whatever reasons! It is saddening that in this day and age, some people have chosen to remain in the dark era. Shame on the authorities whose societies have allowed attacks on journalists! I strongly think ignorance is a contributory factor here; because if these perpetrators understand what we stand for;if only they know how integral we are to the development of a society and nation building, the probably would accord us the respect we deserve. Having said that, much as we should not allow the cheap threat of certain individuals redefine the ethics of our noble profession, something drastic has to be done to provide and ensure the safety of journalists around the world. I think world leaders should be forced to pledge maximum security or be held responsible for even a scratch on any journalist in their country. This is a demand, not a request; after all we made them, didnt we? I have been attacked on the field myself: once was in 2006 when I was working on a special report on MADNESS ON OUR ROADS( a story on the deplorable state of our roads and how beggers and street hawkers were obstructing traffic at the expense of their lives...) and a bunch of cripples attacked us (me and the camera man)with all their movement aids ruined my mic and a part of the camera...our driver quickly ran to our rescue and we hopped into the moving car...oh yes we sustained bruises...And in 2007 when I was working on UNDER-BRIDGE DWELLERS (hang-out for criminals...) we were also attacked but a soilder man came to our rescue..and after these experiences, I saw the need to register for martial art training just to boost my self defence skills and increase my running speed in times of danger. I think all journalists should equip themselves this way and allow the military men deal with their weapons. Arms are not part of a journalist tool and yes, I agree that each media outfit can provide accompaning security officers to accompany journalists to cover certain stories that may pose a threat but my doubt is what happens to the journalist afterwards? Will such security extend to the journalist home and all day? It sounds so unrealist, doesnt it? I am looking forward to a global conference on this subject with world leaders in attendance...until then may Jehovah protect us...

vivienne Irikefe

Journalists should not hold

Journalists should not hold arm or gun because we all are writers. We should be protected by authrorized persons. In some countries journalists are not in safe status for unfair dealing of some government like junta in Myanmar. However we should not hold arm.


Like any other journalist out

Like any other journalist out there, I often feel unsafe and I have abeen attacked several times in the course of job. I think since journalists' safety is not the authorities' responsibility, it would be assuring to know that one would be able to fight back and protect him/herself whenever under potential attack.Carrying a weapon does not guarantee ones safety but given the chance and with the right tool and the right time, a life of a journalist could be spared and the assassin and agendas exposed. It does not have to be a gun but maybe a pepper spray that would give one a chance to get away from an attacker.

Sipho Masombuka-Sowetan

Sipho Masombuka-Pretoria, South Africa

Unfortunately there are many

Unfortunately there are many countries where journalists are already carrying guns or are contemplating to do so. I have met many journalists face-to-face and it is not easy to tell them that they should not carry a gun when they are faced with zero protection from the authorities, indeed when the authorities do not only fail to bring their killers to justice but are often directly or indirectly implicated in their murders. The journalists look at you and just laugh and ask you: "Who will protect me? Who will protect my family?" This debate is not new, it resurfaces from time-to-time, a couple of years ago the same debate erupted in the Philippines when the government offered gun training to journalists and admitted they could not protect them. Also a couple of years ago, the government in Iraq offered a special fast gun license for journalists. And the list goes on from Asia to the Americas, from Africa to the Middle East, from Europe to... Of course it is wrong and I will never tire of saying so. Every time a journalist is assassinated for their work it sends a shockwave through that journalists' community, often resulting in self-censorship as it often is thought to be the only effective protection mechanism, or it results in journalists fleeing their country, or it results in the setting up of a new association of journalists, or it results in journalists carrying a gun. Thankfully there are many media support organisations and press freedom organisations fighting for the rights of journalists, fighting against impunity, offering some solidarity with the threatened journalists. But, there are some things that can be done differently. There can be a culture of safety in the media: news management needs to take responsability and can take many measures to protect their journalists and these are not just external measures involving bodyguards (yes this happens), armoured cars (yes this happens), flakjackets (yes..), but much more importantly and free of charge is the internal thinking around safety in news management itself, how to properly prepare and plan dangerous stories, a proper set of risk guidelines, crisis management, contingency planning, debriefings, a common sense approach to any what if scenario, proper safety training on personal security issues at home and the office, anti-surveillance measures, protection of sensitive information. Measures that ensure that the pen will remain more powerful than the sword, that a picture says more than a thousand words. Sarah de Jong International News Safety Institute

The polling of "Echo Moskvy"

The polling of "Echo Moskvy" radio station (Russia) invited to answer the question: 'Would you buy a gun, if allowed'. Of 11 thousand radio station Web site visitors 75% clicked 'Yes' and 22,7% - 'No'. The polling was initiated after assassination of Anastasia Baburova.

Let journalists do their job.

Let journalists do their job. The reason a person will want to harm you as a journalist is because you have done your job VERY WELL ie. letting people know what the person does not want them to know! There people paid to provide security and protect all citizens where ever they live and work. Let themdo their job VERY WELL too, If they are not let journalists let the people who pay them know they are not doing their job well. By doing this the journalist will not and should not carry a GUN. Lets just do our job that involes stepping on other peoples toes.

I am in total agreement with

I am in total agreement with my colleagues who argue that it is the responsibility of the state to provide such protection. Understandably, this is not a good precedence after all. Freedom of the press is not a commodity that can be offered on the altar as per the whims and caprices of violent-incensed elements as it were.Those who for whatever the extremist justification would choose to vent their anger on journalists in the discharge of their duties are simply agents of cowardice. If a journalist bears a gun for purely self-defence given his/her kind of society is udnerstandable but to suggest that journalists carry weapons because of warding-off threats is inimical and totally unwarranted.

Post new comment

Google Translate