a place for sharing all things photographic and some things not

Western Journalists killed in Syria (of souls departed and now gone)

Hey everyone, sad news has come in from Syria. I might be a tad late but this is still worth mentioning. Marie Colvin, a well-known reporter as well as Rémi Ochlik, a french photographer, have both been killed in Syria.

While news of correspondents dying in the field might be quite common, we shouldn’t altogether harden ourselves to such news. Rémi was but 28 years of age. For one so young to go so soon…

Apparently a shell hit the makeshift media centre that they were using on the side of the rebels and there were several other journalists who were wounded. There has been an outpouring of articles to report on the incident. One remarkable one hails from the New York Times.

“I watched a little baby die today. Absolutely horrific, just a 2-year-old,” said Marie on one interview. “The scale of human tragedy in the city is immense. The inhabitants are living in terror. Almost every family seems to have suffered the death or injury of a loved one,”

There’s another article from Time, which I found to have some quotes that rung so so true, but also were very brutal about our reality.

“Our mission is to speak the truth to power. We send home that first rough draft of history ,… In an age of 24/7 rolling news, blogs and twitters, we are on constant call wherever we are. But war reporting is still essentially the same — someone has to go there and see what is happening … You can’t get that information without going to places where people are being shot at, and others are shooting at you.”

“We always have to ask ourselves whether the level of risk is worth the story, what is bravery, and what is bravado?” Colvin was quoted to have said.

The last quote would be particularly relevant to photojournalists still out in the field today.

This event reminds me of how the world lost Tim Hetherington almost a year ago. Ochlik was not short of potential either. He has a World Press Photo to his name, among other awards. His works can be found here. It is a comforting thought that although he is now gone, his photos are still here to remind us what we are, where we live and what we’ve come to accept as part of things that happen on our earth.

Still it’s a shame for one so young and with so much talent to have to leave so soon. Here’s praying that others will step forward and take his place.

Until all the wars end.


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