Veteran Journalist, Stuart Goodman, has warned against freelance journalists risking their lives without guarantees from news organisations.
“If you don’t have an outlet, don’t go,” Stuart Goodman told the International Reporting Conference held at Sydney’s Macleay College on Wednesday.
Appearing on a panel about freelancing overseas and the risks that many journalists take to cover stories in war zones, Mr Goodman advised the audience to focus on stories at home.
“The further you go for the story doesn’t make it a better story,” he said. The Walkey and Logie award winning news producer focused on the need for journalist to focus on originality and honesty in reporting.
“You need to be flexible and you need to be truthful.”
He stressed that while news organisations will continue to push more risks onto journalists to save money, the trend will survive only if journalists let it.
“More agile bureaus just means less staff,” he said, referring to the way many organisations rebrand budget cuts to foreign news staff.
The panel members also raised many instances when journalists in trouble, such as Peter Greste, have had their organisations work tirelessly to get them out; something freelancers cannot rely on.
– Andrew Leeson
Top photo by Rebecca Hopper.