Many questions are being asked in the wake of the death of Bernama TV cameraman Noramfaizul Mohd Nor, 41, hit by a stray bullet fired by rebels in Somalia, according to news reports which said he and others in the media team had been going into the city to file their footage. Adbukarim Ali, a security official with the AU-backed government army said: “It is still not clear exactly what happened, and the details of the incident are still emerging,” according to AFP.
The first question is: what was Noramfaizul doing in Somalia (on short notice, it is said) on this assignment, and had he been prepared for working in a hostile environment? The second question is: did the organisers, the Putera 1Malaysia Club, take every measure to protect him, which also means ensuring he had been adequately prepared?
Somalia and Mogadishu are not unknown territories. The country is a war zone. Going on an aid mission into a war zone is not the same as going to Aceh on disaster relief.
Until all the facts are known, the only thing that must be said is this: no Malaysian journalist must ever be put in danger for the sake of some cheap political organisation’s cheap publicity stunt.
Bernama, Bernama TV, TV3 and the Putera so-called humanitarians have a lot to answer for.
Journalists in hostile environments
…security is expensive and can increase the cost of a single reportage substantially…a journalist has to decide whether the piece is worth the cost or not…there are a few golden rules and precautions: the low profile approach is one where pieces to camera are done unexpectedly and unannounced within short durations under 30 minutes, using local fixers to scope out locations and translators, moving around in cars without logos and security guards.
Rasmus Tantholdt, Danish journalist in Iraq
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