It has never been a worse time to be a journalist. Falling print subscriptions aside, in Russia and many other totalitarian or oligarchic states, discovering news instead of merely repeating party lines leads easily to murder. Across the Middle East, journalists are now a primary target for kidnap and execution. And if people wonder why the descent of Libya into lawless jihad-dominated chaos has not had much publicity, the answer is largely that today few journalists dare enter the country. Journalism is at a strange place as a profession, and our global political focus is affected as a result. Today the wars that get the most coverage are the ones that aren’t particularly dangerous (Israel and Hamas for instance). Meantime the worst battlegrounds and events of our time (Libya, Syria, Mosul, to name just a few) can be reported on only at a distance, with considerable resulting inaccuracy.

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