Not only do we get a view of what soldiers have to go through during war, we also have someone there who is non-military who will make the military hesitate before they take illegal actions that might be reported on. These reporters face combat danger, with the additional danger of being kidnapped to be tortured as an example or traded.
I believe if a reporter chooses to go to a war zone, they are very brave. Their motives, however, are what make them a hero. If they do good, honest, quality reporting, they can be considered a hero. If their reporting is dishonest and biased, they cannot be a hero.
Just because you are in a war zone does not mean you are a hero. They are not doing anything heroic, they are not saving people. Are the civilians heroes for being in war zones? Of course, not. It is a ludicrous notion and one that needs to be dispelled quickly.
While I do think it is brave, and noble, to commit to your art (in this case, journalism) even in the most difficult or dangerous circumstances, I do NOT think that qualifies you to be a hero. In my eyes, heroism is what our soldiers practice - they are actively defending our country, putting their lives in danger, and doing what needs to be done to protect the citizens. Journalists in this situation are brave, yes, but until I see them putting down their microphone to save children from a bombed, burning building in a foreign country, I can't consider them heroes.