He died at the age of 27 years old, and I have no idea what has happened to his wife and baby daughter.
Consider the following infographic provided by Pew:
That's right: 73% of the media-related deaths in Syria are those of citizen journalists. In fact, the Pew research reveals that circumstances being what they are in Syria, traditional journalists have come to rely on the citizen journalist more and more for information and verification of what is happening there.
Read the complete Pew Research story here, entitled "Another casualty of war in Syria—citizen journalists."
Are Citizen Journalists Doing the Work of a Journalist?
Which brings me to the recent debate over a national shield law and one proposition that shield law protections should be given to "journalists" as that job title is defined by statute, and part of that definition should be that a "journalist" is someone who draws a salary to do their journalism job.
Techdirt has some nice coverage and commentary of that debate here. So does Professor Larry in a Huffington Post piece.
Considering the Pew research, I'm thinking that bloodshed or the risking of one's person or life or liberty to report the truth to others should carry some weight regarding being legally protected as a journalist, too.
Sure, the Syrian example comes from another country, and I'm not rabbit trailing down that political road. My point is that citizen journalists perform a job that is a part of journalism today, no matter where they work.
May God forbid that we ever see U.S. citizen journalists exposed to the dangers that this Pew research reflects; however, I am secure in my belief that here in the United States we have citizen journalists just as dedicated as those working in the Middle East today.
Citizen journalists are important to our society, to insure that the truth is revealed. They deserve respect and recognition - including protection by a federal shield law.
Bloggers aren't just ranting about celebrities or kids or sharing recipes and DIY projects anymore - does Congress realize this?