Practice Relating to Rule 34. Journalists
New Zealand’s Military Manual (1992) states:
Journalists engaged in dangerous professional missions in areas of armed conflict are regarded as civilians. They are protected as such under the [1949 Geneva] Conventions and the 1977 Additional Protocol I so long as they take no action adversely affecting their status as civilians.
The manual considers that Article 79 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I
is a new provision and such journalists enjoy no special protection in relation to States which are not bound by [the 1977 Additional Protocol I]. In regard to such States, they may well be taken for spies if they are found in areas of armed conflict while equipped with, eg, cameras. Such journalists must be furnished with proper identity cards. Also, they must not be confused with war correspondents accredited to armed forces in the field.