Comment on Times story: Libya’s Rebels Grow Wary of Western Journalists
Let there be no doubt. Some reporters are spies. That’s what they do. Depending on the circumstance, the definition of a spy and a reporter can almost be interchangeable. With that said, most reporters are usually not being secretive, and their motives are not nefarious or clandestine, the way spies are.It comes as no surprise that reporters are finally being banned by the freedom fighters of Libya. Many of them have reported weapons count without even thinking. I cringe when I hear them reporting on the number of tanks and artillery pieces captured. All information is undoubtedly going straight to Gaddafi.
I am not talking about the real spies who masquerade as reporters. I am talking about the ones whose hearts are in the right place and are on the freedom fighter’s side. Still, some of them have no sense of responsibility. These reporters are not being paid to remain silent, even when they should be keeping their mouths shut. They are either naive, or so interested in getting a story, any story, that they do not care about the lives they put at risk.
The current reports coming from the Nafusa Mountain region are perfect examples. These reports state: The freedom fighters will be making a push out of their enclave in a few days. They even mention how many freedom fighters are in the area, where they are, and what their next target will be.
Gaddafi must be rubbing his hands with glee to get this information. Do reporters actually believe he is going to ignore their reports? That is highly unlikely. Instead, he is going to do what anyone with the slightest military sense would do and reinforce his forces in the area.
With all that said some reporters do serve a valuable purpose. Only the immoral and stupid ones are making me sick.
Additional info on the obligations and responsibilities of reporters can be found in my section Reporters and Photographers.