Practice Relating to Rule 34. Journalists
The Military Manual (1993) of the Netherlands states:
Journalists engaged in “free newsgathering” must be considered as civilians. They must be protected as such provided they take no action adversely affecting this status … The humanitarian law of war does not prohibit armed forces in whose area of operations journalists are active to impose restrictions on journalists. Journalists are not the same as persons accredited to the armed forces as war correspondents.
The Military Manual (2005) of the Netherlands states: “Persons who accompany armed forces without directly belonging to them are non-combatants, but have prisoner-of-war status if captured. Examples are war correspondents.”
In its chapter on the protection of the civilian population, the manual states:
0812. Specific rules for journalists
Journalists engaged in the “free gathering of news” must be considered civilians. As such, they should be protected, provided they take no actions which adversely affect this status. The state of which they are subjects may issue them with identity cards. The humanitarian law of war does not prohibit armed forces from imposing restrictions on journalists within their area of operations. Journalists are not persons accredited with the armed forces as war correspondents, who are considered to belong to the category of “accompanying persons” and who, if captured by the adversary, become prisoners of war (see point 0310).