Demythologizing war journalism: Motivation and role perception of Dutch war journalists

Bernadette Kester, R Van der Hoeven

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Although, in recent years, considerable research has been done on the hazardous experiences of Anglo-Saxon war journalists, Dutch war journalists have never been the focus of academic attention. The authors thought the experiences of the Dutch might put war journalism in a new light and so they conducted a series of in-depth interviews with 12 Dutch war journalists. In this article, they address two main research questions: what are war journalists’ motives for practising this dangerous occupation and how do they perceive their professional role? The authors compared their findings to previous research on Anglo-Saxon war journalists and on Dutch journalism students and journalists. The most striking conclusion is that, compared to their Anglo-Saxon colleagues, Dutch war journalists are reluctant to present their motivation and work in moral dimensions too eagerly. Instead, all the interviewees frankly acknowledge that they are excited by the experience of war or at least seeking adventure. They equally admit to having chosen the profession partly because of career opportunities. However, this rational attitude of Dutch war journalists does not deter them from moral objectives.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalMedia, War & Conflict
Publication statusPublished - 11 May 2020

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