I'm not a huge fan of the whole obituary scene. But, the deaths of top-notch journalists Anthony Shaddid and Marie Colvin in the span of a week is a huge loss for journalism.
Reading David Remmick's piece on Colvin in the New Yorker this morning, the excerpt he included from a speech of hers in 2010 really caught my attention. The full speech can be found here - but you have to scroll down and click on the link with her name to expand it.
Your Royal Highness, ladies and gentlemen, I am honored and humbled to be speaking to you at this service tonight to remember the journalists and their support staff who gave their lives to report from the war zones of the twenty-first century. I have been a war correspondent for most of my professional life. It has always been a hard calling. But the need for frontline, objective reporting has never been more compelling.
Covering a war means going to places torn by chaos, destruction, and death, and trying to bear witness. It means trying to find the truth in a sandstorm of propaganda when armies, tribes or terrorists clash. And yes, it means taking risks, not just for yourself but often for the people who work closely with you.
Despite all the videos you see from the Ministry of Defense or the Pentagon, and all the sanitized language describing smart bombs and pinpoint strikes, the scene on the ground has remained remarkably the same for hundreds of years. Craters. Burned houses. Mutilated bodies. Women weeping for children and husbands. Men for their wives, mothers children.
Our mission is to report these horrors of war with accuracy and without prejudice. We always have to ask ourselves whether the level of risk is worth the story. What is bravery, and what is bravado?
Read more http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2012/02/postscript-marie-colvin-1957-2012.html#ixzz1n8KvLaUN
5 days ago