The risk of reporting

After the death of the second journalist in Qatar covering the World Cup, the dangers journalists face are brought back into the spotlight.

American sports reporter for Fox News Grant Wahl was announced dead on Saturday, December 10th, while covering the World Cup in Qatar. The organizers of the World Cup stated he fell ill over the weekend and collapsed on Friday, December 9th, most likely due to bronchitis. Wahl is the second reporter to die covering this World Cup, many are speculating foul play was involved as he was young and in good health when leaving the US last month.

This speculation stems from Wahl’s reporting on the inhumane treatment of migrant workers who built the stadiums for the World Cup by the Qatari government. Wahl also made headlines last week after wearing a rainbow shirt in solidarity with gay rights to a match in Qatar. The country is known for its laws forbidding homosexual relationships, Wahl received many death threats for his support of gay rights. Wahl’s body was returned to the US on Monday, December 12th, his family is waiting on an autopsy report.

Journalism is an ever-evolving medium of communication, reporters are experts at adapting to changes in the makeup of the world and technology, all the while putting themselves in new situations for the betterment of the larger community. However, recently the media has gone under fire, from mistrust fueled by politicians to physical assault. Journalists now must work overtime to defend their work to the masses who have fallen down rabbit holes of conspiracy theories and misinformation created by figures in power. They must go further than ever before to ensure that every fact in the pieces they publish is irrefutable, or risk being discredited on social media for perceived errors.

Journalists must work through chronic underfunding and opposition of political leaders for the trust of mass America. Since 2000 there have been an average of 73 reporters killed yearly, and without the work of reports throughout time, the general public would be left in the dark. Journalists share the happiest and darkest parts of humanity, without this source of information, the wealthy and powerful would have the leeway to do as they, please.