Richard Engel of NBC news testified to the United Nations Security Council on July 17, “’We’re all bloggers and punks and rebels with cameras. There is absolutely no respect for career journalists anymore,’ said Engel, who was kidnapped by pro-regime gunmen in northern Syria and held for five days in December 2012.”
Engel was one of four journalists addressing the U.N., calling for world leaders to do more to protect reporters risking their lives in conflict situations. This in light of the 600 journalists killed during the last ten years and 41 killed in Syria alone during the last year. If one has seen Engel’s reports, he gets into the thick of conflict to collect and deliver stories for the corporate media. He’s also on the micro blog twitter.
The Associated Press wrote a story on Engel’s testimony and it can be read here.
It is a marvel there are people like Engel, who put themselves in harm’s way for what they believe is a greater good. In our house we don’t watch television most days, and my Engel fix comes from his 140 character tweets @RichardEngel. It has a democratizing effect, giving meaning to his quote at the U.N., “we’re all bloggers.” He often comes up next to the orchard where I work, @anamariecox and @realDonaldTrump.
Engel was trying to maintain the special status of his profession, something hard to do when there are tens of millions of bloggers, and ubiquitous social media outlets, all chattering away 24-7. With the erosion of the importance of newspapers, magazines and television in many people’s lives, and politicized everything, there are a few who stand out as superior working employees of the fourth estate. What is the fourth estate anyway? I can almost remember it and it has new meaning with Richard Engel in it.