Danger, Deadlines and Frontlines

Is a story ever worth your life? What if you don’t have a choice? What if your life (or death) become the story?

Who do you trust and what danger does your trust place that person in? Would you pay a people smuggler to repay a debt? What happens when you leave and your source doesn’t?

Do you take your family with you to war, or invite a terrorist’s link man to you child’s school because it’s the only time they’re free for an interview? Do you have a family at all? What happens when you recognise a look on your interviewee’s face, because the same expression is on your own?

How graphic an image can you show? Should you show? Must you always tell both sides of the story, or does doing so legitimise propaganda? How can traditional media respond to fake news?

Is war more brutal than ever, and are journalists reporting on it still safe? What caused that last event?

Five incredible journalists tackled all this and more at an evening put on by the charity Just A Drop. There was laughter, there were certainly tears, and there was admiration for those who take on not just the challenge of reporting, but even more for those who struggle to live their lives through war zones. As each speaker said, you can live without electricity quite easily; you can’t cope without water. I can’t bring back the tales this night, but I can tell you what Fiona Jeffrey, founder of Just A Drop said:

When Just A Drop started 19 years ago, a child was dying every 20 seconds because of dirty water. It’s better now. It’s every 90 seconds.

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