The past few days have been ones to forget.
Yeah, there’s been positive news coming out about the Sun on Sunday and there’s always the stream of neverending phone-hacking stories, but I reckon what’s in the front of our minds and presumably on the front pages, have been the recent deaths of several journalists covering conflict abroad.
Just yesterday we learned that veteran correspondent Marie Colvin and French photographer Remi Ochlik were killed by Syrian Army shelling in Homs. Depending on who you read (and believe) the death may not have just been a byproduct of war correspondence, but also an intentional attack.
Last week, we heard the tragic news that long-time foreign correspondent and Pulitzer-prize winner, Anthony Shadid died, not of mortars, shells or gunfire, but of an athysma attack as he tried to cross the Syrian border.
This isn’t a post about the risks of covering war and conflict. I think we get the risks involved.
Regardless of what we aspire to do, everything they did was inspiring and it’s damned sad to see anyone in our profession pass away, be it from asthma, enemy fire, or a medical condition.
Less than a month ago, a former professor of mine, who made a name for himself covering the Vietnam war and heading the Saigon Bureau for the AP, passed away as well. That, like these other events, was heartbreaking.
No journalist wants to become the news while they’re living. I imagine that’s the same in death as well.
It’s easy to be cynical and make the claim that every time a western journalist gets killed during a foreign conflict, the headlines jump to that one individual, and not the hundreds of civillian casualties. That may be true.
Whatever the case, the best thing we can do as wannabes and up-and-comers is to admire and be inspired by their work and carry on doing what we do best as an homage to those before us.
War and conflict rages on, so too must good journalism.
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After finishing my stint in student media, I couldn’t help but look