Wartime journalists have to maintain a neutrality in order to provide the public with an informative report of the conflict. Showing compassion to one side may have led to critics saying that they had a bias because of their kind actions. Even though the New York Times journalists were unable to save or help Amal Hussain and her family, they were able to tell her story. The general public has a better understanding of the conflict in Yemen and how it affects families all over the country. Journalism may leave out the empathy people have, but the stories they tell speak louder and explore the deeper truths of the human experience.
We’d all like to say how we would give so much to assist the one poor soul who they were reporting on but what about the rest of the population that is starving? Instead of giving a little money here and there, the reporters are doing so much more by giving people stories to cry about, and if someone really takes it to heart and starts a charity fund for the reported community, the good that comes out of it would be because of the same person who didn’t assist those in need at the time, but in a long term.
This is a morally ambiguous gray area, a question that perhaps has no true answer. Reporters are trapped between their commitment to the truth and their humanity. Should they remain dedicated to the truth, recording events without interference or embellishment, or should they strive to change the suffering they report on?
… However, reporters are not leaving the people that they cover with nothing. The publicity they provide gives the plight of many, for instance, the Yemeni, the worldwide attention they need to fix the persisting issues with their country’s politics and economy. The fact that this very conversation exists is evidence in support of this idea. While it may not be direct help, the coverage given by reporters is an invaluable resources that has aided countless people. It is unfair to force reporters risking their lives for stories to contend with the additional foe of their own conscience. They do their jobs well, and in the long run, they do help people.
Making a difference, no matter how small
This situation reminds me of a story that I am very fond of. The story feature as a man walking along a beach with thousands upon thousands of starfish washed upon the shore. As he walks, he continues to throw them into the water. A young boy sees him doing so and asks him why, pointing out that there are too many starfish to make a difference. The man looks at the boy, picks up a starfish, and throws it into the water. “Well,” he says, “it sure made a difference to that one.”
In the article, Walsh points out that it might not be fair to “single out one person or family for help.” Although it may seem unfair to other families, it will make an enormous difference to the family they elect to help. Although it may seem small, a helping hand can leave a huge impact on those families both physically and emotionally.
Journalists should always help the people they are reporting on if they know they are able. There have been many times in my life in which I have been watching the news or seen footage online of news reporters in situations where they could have done more than just document it. While documentation of important events especially in war times, there is often always, even if it is small, something that could be done to help. If nothing at all is done, it can be hard not to be angered by the situation. After all, it is a reporter’s job to be in a place when important events are happening. If these events are bad and something could be done, it should be!