Freelance Journalism and its dangers!

After reading yesterday’s Guardian and maintaining the idea that anyone can be a journalist, I thought this would be very appropriate.

The prison in Tripoli where Ghaith Abdul-Ahad spent two weeks in solitary confinement

Freelance Journalist for the Guardian Ghaith Abdul-Ahad recalls his two weeks in a Libian Prison.  The article is set out much like a diary recalling what he say and thought, it also includes his recallection of his cell and the other prisoners during the Libian Uprising.

The thought of being held prisoner in a foreign country and with no idea of the length of imprisonment is something that all journalists with foreign or war journalism interests have to be aware of. This area of journalism is rarely voiced in the news and this was the main reason that it immediately caught my eye.


The piece gives the readers of the Guardian the chance to imagine the fear behind the Libian Uprising for not just the Libian people but for all, the article is extremely hard hitting as we as a reader know that it is a first hand eyewitness account of Libya during Gaddafi’s ruling. Ghaith Abdul-Ahad reports on his return to Libya after his time in prison and his meeting with the prison guard Hatem and how it was almost like his period of solitary confinement had never happened. This was merely two friends meeting again, something which Ghaith Abdul-Ahad himself descibed as eerie and quite surreal. He states that Hatem had despised journlaists, naming them “spies and enemies of Libya”. It is inspiring to know that Ghaith Abdul-Ahad made it from Libya alive and can expose his memories for us to read, however, it does set fear in me to know how close he was to death and how everyday he didnt really know what would happen to him.

We will never quite know how severe the conditions were in Libya during the Gaddafi regime, but this account does shine a light over the areas, we as the public never really heard about at the time. It is clear from this that being a journalist is on a knife edge between seriously dangerous and seriously exhilerating, it really is a question of how far one will go to get the latest and freshest news available, even if it means imprisonment, or possible death.

Ghaith Abdul-Ahad’s tracks down his jailor and speaks of his strong opposition with journalists. The totalitarian beliefs in Libya are clearly evident as Hatem is seen as a member of  the Libian community  who still believed in Gaddafi, even during the few days before his capture, ” you are here to destroy Gaddafi’s Libya” were the words that Ghaith Abdul-Ahad remembers vividly.

The account of this freelance reporter and his time in Libian during Gaddafi rule comes across to readers as extrememly personal and something which im sure would catch the eye of the majority of readers, especially during the current global interest in the Libian rebel uprising and the failure of Gaddafi.

One Response

  1. I agree that the article you are talking about highlighted some of the key arguments surrounding citizen journalism.

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