To be a reporter or not to be

I see that the two men kidnapped in Somalia (http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2009/0715/breaking33.htm) had checked into the hotel they were kidnapped from as reporters.
They were, in fact, security experts. I know that being a journalist can give one some safety in difficult regions, but at the same time it is one of the most dangerous professions in the world (as we were told in our first day of journalism college).
The fact that two people would pose as journalists as a safety measure I find incredulous, especially in Somalia where a number of journalists are already in captivity.
I remember travelling through South East Asia (a completely different kettle of fish completely, but off the beaten track for a 23/24 year old in 2002.) My profession was ‘journalist’. As was my travelling companion’s. But we devised a strategy not to get us into trouble with the authorities, and signed ourselves in everywhere as ‘editor’.
Every border crossing, every visa application, every guest house demanded this information. Editor, editor, editor, we wrote everywhere. We didn’t feel like journalists in the typical sense – we weren’t investiogative journalists, we weren’t staffers at any paper, neither of us had any particular interest in staying in journalism, why declare ourselves as journalists, we thought, considering we both technically had been employed as editors beforehand.
Little white lies, eh?

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