CNN journalist helps save man trapped in car being swept away by Harvey floodwaters

Journalists covering the storm have found themselves acting as rescuers

CNN crew help man out of car sinking into flooded ravine

For the swarms of journalists in Texas to cover Harvey, the line between reporting and rescuing is getting blurred.

A video of a CNN reporter helping to pull a man to safety has gone viral, coming soon after a similar clip of a journalist retrieving a man from his home circulated widely.

“This is why it’s so dangerous right now to be out,” the reporter says as he helps the man walk away from a truck slowly receding into a waterlogged ravine behind him. “Come on sir, let’s get you up into the dry”.

CNN crew help man out of car sinking into flooded ravine

A similar story played out when a Houston television reporter spotted a truck stranded in rising water and flagged down a Harris County Sheriff’s Office truck a few days ago.

Journalists generally try to avoid playing an active role in the stories they cover, but the widespread devastation wrought by Harvey is plunging many reporters into aiding the victims.

A column written by journalism ethics professor Joe Hight for the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma, an organization that helps journalists navigate covering war and natural disasters, suggests avoiding “risks that might endanger either your own safety or your ability to do your job”.

“It's not your role to act as professional responder unless someone's life is in danger,” Mr Hight wrote.

Attacks on journalists have been a regular feature of the Trump administration, and White House counselor Kellyanne Conway took to Twitter to lambaste a reporter for lacking sensitivity when she interviewed a rattled mother.

Shortly thereafter Ms Conway praised journalists for helping connect people to resources.

More than a dozen people are believed to have died as a result of the storm, and Houston authorities are bracing for tens of thousands to be homeless.

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