I am watching a BBC world special tonight about the Rory Peck Trust and the annual award the Trust gives for the best work by a freelance journalists.
Some of the trust’s work is for journalists in need around the world. The trust helps the journalists themselves and their families with money and support.
One of the people interviewed was saying that the these freelancers operate in places like Iraq where network employees are not allowed to operate.
In short, they do the dangerous work that companies like CNN and Sky will not ask their own employees to do.
BBC journalists were interviewed praising these journalists who do the dangerous work their network employed colleagues refuse (or are unable) to do. They pointed out that they are an essential element in the journalistic cover. Yet when privateer soldiers do the same thing in Iraq or Afghanistan because national governments will not send in their soldiers, those BBC journalists dismiss them as mere mercenaries.
These freelance journalists are no different from their freelance soldier fellows so if we are going to honour them (and we should) lets make sure we honour the unsung fighters freelancing for the coalition in Iraq.