Journalists not spies. The importance of the legal distinction for the protection of journalists during armed conflicts

Journalists not spies. The importance of the legal distinction for the protection of journalists during armed conflicts
By
Mariateresa Garrido Villareal, University for Peace
Abstract
International Humanitarian Law (IHL) has long-claimed that recognition as a civilian is critical to a journalist’s safety during war, but the new US Manual blurs that line
and says journalists must better understand the distinction between civilians and combatants. Given the fact that journalists might not be familiar with these legal
concepts, this article proposes the use of critical pedagogy to engage them in the consideration of those issues (Freire, 2000). To start the conversation, and following a
legal methodology, the article analyzes protections established under IHL, provides legal definitions for combatants, spies, and civilians and explains how each should
be treated. Then to promote the inclusion on this topic in academic curriculums, it present teaching experiences and recommendations to engage media personnel in the
study of this topic.

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The Author

Chinenye Nwabueze

Nwabueze is a communication researcher with several years of lecturing experience in Nigerian universities.

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