Journalism comes with risks, but they shouldn’t be this big

It’s hard to imagine an odder time to be a journalist.

While the methods of storytelling are changing at a rapid pace, the job has also become one of the riskiest careers to choose. Journalists are held accountable for their reporting and accuracy and can be sued if the information they present isn’t accurate.

However, I don’t recall ever learning that there’s the risk of injury, even death, with pursuing a story. The events carried out by the group ISIS in recent weeks shows the risks journalism entails.

About two weeks ago, James Foley was executed by Isis due to U.S. airstrikes against the militant group. Just yesterday, news outlets reported that the group released a video that showed the beheading of a second journalist, Steven Sotloff.

The video also gave a warning to President Obama about airstrikes continuing. The group said if the airstrikes continue, “our knife will continue to strike the necks of your people.”

It is difficult to process that these journalists were killed simply because of the actions of the U.S. government. Sotloff hardly had any control over the situation, and was simply doing his job when he was captured in August 2013.

When I entered this field nearly six years ago, the risk of death did not seem to come with the job. Sure, I knew I didn’t choose this career to be loved, but I didn’t expect to hear news about journalists being killed simply for doing their jobs.

I hope the families of these men are able to grieve their losses in peace. Hopefully the situation does not get any worse than it already is.

Journalism is a tough gig. I hope no other innocent person, journalist or not, has to lose their life at the hand of this group.

Hopefully, action will be taken to avoid future instances.