Pressure and lethal assignments

Hours after BBC journalist Kate Peyton arrived in Mogadishu, she was shot in the back and died. That was in February, 2005, and now a coroner’s report concludes she didn’t want the dangerous assignment, but took it because “she felt that her job would be on the line if she didn’t take it,” according to a BBC story quoting coroner Peter Dean.

Dean concludes that journalists should not feel pressured and should have “an overriding right to turn down dangerous jobs, regardless of any fears they might have for their future employment.”

It strikes me that the coroner’s recommendation cannot refute a harsh reality: as in any field, is if one reporter turns down a job, the news agency will look for someone else to do it.