In this section I will talk about two different types of correspondents, those who were the first to pioneer war reporting and those who were killed in the line of duty. Both set precedents for how the media world would continue to cover wars around the world.
Being a war correspondent is not a new position, but actually dates back to when journalism was established in the United States. However, the first journalist known for his war reporting was a man named Richard Harding Davis. He worked as a foreign war correspondent at Joseph Pulitzer’s New York Herald during the Spanish-American War. Davis was especially praised for his sensationalism which popularized himself, the war, and President Roosevelt.
Another huge name in the media world, Edward R. Murrow, got his fame from his radio reporting during Hitler’s aggressive air raids on London during World War II. Murrow broadcasted live during a show known now as “This is London.” He was able to broadcast the sounds and sights of war to Americans, which drew many Americans into the war movement. Because of his famous reports from London, when Murrow returned to the US, he became one of the first news celebrities. He was even welcomed back from the President himself.
In looking into the sheer amount of journalists who have been killed throughout America’s history, it was almost impossible to choose two reporters to represent the martyrs of media.
Though many were killed before him, Edgar Damalerio was both a radio reporter and and editor. He was stationed in the Philippines where he was constantly reporting about the local police and corruption within the city’s officials.
Despite receiving multiple death threats, Damalerio continued to write and publish content on the corruption in the Philippines. Because of his work, Damalerio was shot and killed on May 13, 2002, at around 8 p.m.
Although journalism martyrs are rare, even this year journalists have been slain because of their work. James Foley was an American freelance journalist who was covering the ISIS crisis when he was taken captive and beheaded on August 19, 2014.
Foley’s death highlighted the danger and risk involved in foreign reporting, especially in the Middle East. However, journalists are still taking that risk in an effort to report the truth they think their audience deserves to know.
These valiant reporters lost their lives for the same cause most journalists go to work each day: to report the truth.