How ISIS has manipulated journalism

By Janeth Riviera (Sophomore)

Throughout history, it’s been quite dangerous for journalists to travel around the world informing the people of current events and information that everyone needs to know. But just how risky is it for a journalist to write about a terrorist group?

In October 2014, a Japanese journalist named Kenji Goto traveled to Syria in order to find out more about ISIS and to try to assist another journalist who was held hostage (Haruna Yukawa). Unfortunately, on January 24 2015, Yukawa was beheaded by an ISIS militant after both of them were held hostage. The only way to try to save Goto’s life was for the Japanese government to give $200 million to ISIS. Days later, on January 31st, Goto was decapitated.

Kenji Goto holds a picture of fellow Japanese captive, Haruna Yukawa.
Kenji Goto holds a picture of fellow Japanese captive, Haruna Yukawa.

Journalists such as these gentlemen risked their lives to cover stories that the world needed to hear in order to promote peace. Is it worth having lives at stake in order to reveal the evil in this world? It is definitely not the journalists’ faults that their lives have been taken. The distinct truth is that journalists these days are in life or death situations and they make their great sacrifice for the people.

ISIS stands for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria; they control and allow people from everywhere around the world to join a group whose actions revolve around death and destruction.

Despite the consequences, Goto was brave to complete a task and try to help the world understand ISIS better. In the future, I want to become a journalist and provide news that others must hear. If I am dedicated to capturing proof and recording something newsworthy, then I’m doing my job right. But if I’m in a near life and death situation, I should have known that I’ve committed myself to take that risk. This was probably also what Goto thought before leaving his loved ones to write about ISIS, but I can’t imagine being in a situation like Goto’s. He had a country looking up to him for important reporting. In the end, the news was told, but was twisted by the hands of the extremists.


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