Yesterday, a group of people gathered in Seattle for a fascinating discussion with my friend Jon Landay, an award-winning investigative journalist who covers national security and intelligence issues for McClatchy News. Our plan was to talk about Iraq, ISIS, and journalists in danger, then discuss the “so what” part at the end.
From the very beginning, though, the conversation took a turn toward the ultimate crisis in war reporting. In addition to the physical and mental health risks, there’s an even bigger risk: No one will care.
As journalist Tom Peter shared after James Foley’s beheading, “It’s harder to accept what really happened, which is that he died while people eagerly formed opinions on his profession and the topics he covered without bothering to read the stories he put in front of them.”
Reader apathy alone is demoralizing, but that’s only the start of the problem. With apathy comes lower readership. With lower…
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