Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Marie Colvin's Mission: Reporting Horrors of War



In February last year, Marie Colvin of the Sunday Times, London, was killed in Homs, Syria doing what she did best – reporting from the battlefield. She and photographer Remi Ochlik died as the building where they were came under rocket fire by the Syrian military.

Covering the horrors of the war in Syria, she wrote about a particular scene she had witnessed, the death of a little child. She described it in an interview with Anderson Cooper of CNN: “We just watched this little boy, his little tummy, heaving and heaving as he tried to breathe. It was horrific. My heart broke.”

The next day she too would be dead.

Today, thousands of deaths later, the US contemplates a strike on Syria for the use of chemical weapons allegedly by the forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The reporting of Colvin and many other journalists like her have brought out the savagery of that conflict whether it be in the streets of Baba Amr or in the hospitals Ghouta.

In an address in 2010 at a service at St. Bride’s Church, London, for the war wounded Marie Colvin spoke about war reporting and the sacrifices it called for – not only in exposing oneself to physical danger but trying to meet journalistic standards in dire circumstances.

“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?” she asked.

Her words reveal her her profound commitment to humanity and professional excellence her work demanded. Read her speech here   

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