Journalism can be a dangerous profession. In 2009, 73 journalists died worldwide. In fact, 29 journalists died in the Philippines in one single incident, according to the United Nations Human Rights. The death of Daniel Pearl highlighted the dangers that journalists face, especially those covering war zones. Daniel was kidnapped while investigating a story for the Wall Street Journal about the link between the “shoe bomber” (Richard Reid) and Al-Qaeda. His beheading was videotaped and broadcasted over the Internet. If you decide to cover dangerous situations, terrorism or war zones, your publication will be of little help if you get in trouble.
When Pearl’s kidnappers emailed a list of demands, the Wall Street Journal’s managing editor appealed for his release via e-mail. His kidnappers ignored this request, because they their demands went unmet by the United States government.
It is also important to note that the United States government actually changed their policy after the Pearl case. President Bush signed a policy amendment that stated that the United States would be more actively involved when an American is taken hostage. Not that you would want to set out to get kidnapped, but at least you know if you did the United States might help.