WriterGrl, a journalist probably was berthed in officer's country, with more space for personal equipment than us enlisted men had many years later. In the several hours between the attack and the sinking of the Princeton, the journalist would have plenty of time to prepare for leaving the ship. Aircraft carriers are floating arsenals and fuel tanks, and any fire presents a great hazard. Knowing this, the journalist probably anticipated the possibility of abandoning ship, and also could make last minute changes to his plans. In the meantime, being encumbered by a watertight case while photographing the dramatic chaos of a burning aircraft carrier would have complicated his job.