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CQ Researcher Report on Combat Journalism Wins 2014 Mirror Award

June 5, 2014

Los Angeles, CA - CQ Researchercontributing writer Frank Greve was honored yesterday with the 2014 John M. Higgins Award for Best In-Depth/Enterprise Reporting on the media industry, presented by the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University.

The top prize in the annual Mirror Awards competition, the award recognizes CQ Researcher’s April 12, 2013 report titled “Combat Journalism.” Greve’s 13,000-word, 24-page report explores the difficulties that reporters and photographers face when covering wars or work in other high-risk situations. It analyzes their motives for accepting dangerous assignments, the level of support they receive from the media institutions that use their work, and the trend toward citizen journalism.

“This is an honor for both CQ Researcher and Frank Greve, and I’m thrilled that this important report has received the attention it deserves,” said Thomas J. Billitteri, CQ Researcher’s Managing Editor. “The toll of journalists killed on the job, especially in recent years, is stunning. Frank broke new ground in explaining why conflict journalism has become so risky – and what the consequences are for the free flow of information.”

Greve, a veteran Washington investigative journalist, said, “The new danger in conflict reporting is deadly to good journalism – it inhibits reporters, it leads editors to hire brave but inexperienced and often partisan freelancers, and it causes partial or total news blackouts of the most important conflicts of the day: Syria, Libya, Palestine, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Mexico, for example.”

Established in 1923, CQ Researcher is a weekly, in-depth, single-topic publication focusing on today’s most important issues. To celebrate its 90th anniversary, in 2013, SAGE and CQ press launched an enhanced interface for the site with a new ‘Hot Topics’ feature.

“For nearly a century, CQ Researcher has served as a go-to resource for librarians, high school and college students, and scholars seeking fresh research on real-world issues, while holding to high standards of journalism excellence,” commented Michele Sordi, SAGE’s Vice President of Editorial. “Receiving the John M. Higgins Mirror Award celebrates this long-held commitment.” Among the report’s highlights:

  • More than 2,100 reporters and photographers have been killed on the job since 1837, with more than half in the last 20 years;
  • Extremist leaders who wooed journalists a generation ago to get their messages out now seize and sometimes kill reporters for unpredictable reasons;
  • Western media have responded to new dangers largely by hiring risk-tolerant local freelancers while many developing-world media owners have decided it is cheaper to replace journalists than to protect them;
  • Repressive governments are hacking reporters’ poorly protected computers and phones to attack opposition groups and journalists;
  • The lack of first-aid training has meant the difference between life and death for journalists who are injured or become ill in remote or dangerous places;
  • Embedding journalists in military troops as well as a growing dependence on partisan “citizen journalists” in conflict zones have lead to unbalanced reporting.

Read the entire issue free for a limited time here:


CQ Researcher, founded in 1923, is based in Washington, D.C., and is an imprint of SAGE. It produces weekly in-depth reports on policy-related topics, including government, science, education, environment and law. It has received the American Bar Association’s Silver Gavel Award and Society of Professional Journalists’ Sigma Delta Chi Award of Excellence.

The Mirror Awards honor reporters, editors and teams of writers who hold a mirror to their own industry for the public’s benefit.  A group of journalists and journalism educators chose this year’s finalists from more than 350 entries. The awards were presented June 4 in New York City.

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