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Anthony Shadid, 1968-2012
February 16, 2012 9:21 PM   Subscribe

Two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Anthony Shadid has died on assignment. (NYTimes) Shadid, 43, died of an asthma attack while reporting in Syria. His colleague, photographer Tyler Hicks, carried his body over the border into Turkey.

Shadid won the Pulitzer in 2004 and 2010 for coverage of the Iraq War. In March of 2011, he was captured in Libya (also NYT) and held for several days alongside three colleagues. He is survived by his wife and two children.
posted by Madamina (50 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
On a personal note, I couldn't link to the stories by my colleagues at UW-Madison (or the school of Journalism), but I can't imagine the mood in the office tomorrow. He was one of our most prominent alumni in any field. This is a stunning loss for journalism and for our university.
posted by Madamina at 9:23 PM on February 16, 2012


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posted by Flashman at 9:23 PM on February 16, 2012


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posted by flippant at 9:23 PM on February 16, 2012


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posted by rtha at 9:24 PM on February 16, 2012


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posted by wikipedia brown boy detective at 9:30 PM on February 16, 2012


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posted by effugas at 9:31 PM on February 16, 2012


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posted by Navelgazer at 9:34 PM on February 16, 2012


My Twitter feed's almost nothing but Shadid memorials at the moment.

Here's the story that won him a Pulitzer in 2004:
As they approached Daif's house, its door emblazoned with the names Muhammad and Ali, they were greeted with wails of women covered by black chadors. They screamed, waving their hands and shaking their heads. The cries drowned out the chants, as the coffin disappeared indoors. The despair poured out of the home, its windows shattered by the blast that killed Daif.
This is my first encounter with his work, sad to say. Spare, quiet, careful, dignified.

And an interview with Mother Jones on why he did what he did:
MJ: So how do you determine which stories are worth risking your life for?

AS: I've struggled with that question a lot. I don't think there's any story worth dying for, but I do think there are stories worth taking risks for. What's so regrettable to me about Ajdabiya [where Shadid was kidnapped] was that I didn't feel like that story was worth taking that risk for, and I was too late in understanding that, and at great cost: the cost of our driver's life. That's something that all four of us have to live with. I took great risks when I went into Syria illegally and without a visa. That was probably one of the greatest risks I've ever taken as a journalist, but that story felt as if it wouldn't be told if I didn't go there. That's the arithmetic that I usually rely on. And those events in Syria over the summer were seismic. It's a decision that's a lot easier to make in hindsight. Emotion and, hopefully not, but ambition often get in the way of the judgment. But you go and hope you get it right.
I'm a journalist of a sort, but I couldn't do what he did. I don't quite understand how anyone does. But I respect the hell out of it.

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posted by gompa at 9:39 PM on February 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


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posted by joe lisboa at 9:39 PM on February 16, 2012


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posted by LucretiusJones at 9:39 PM on February 16, 2012


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posted by quadog at 9:43 PM on February 16, 2012


The New York Times has also posted a handful of excerpts from his best recent work.
posted by gompa at 9:44 PM on February 16, 2012


And a line from that MoJo interview worth repeating, memorizing: "Journalism is always the art of the incomplete. You get bits and pieces."
posted by gompa at 9:46 PM on February 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


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posted by zardoz at 9:48 PM on February 16, 2012


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posted by IvoShandor at 9:51 PM on February 16, 2012


I got the chance to talk to Tyler Hicks a week or so after his release from Libya last March. This past year hasn't been kind to him, or journalists in general.


Tragic loss.
posted by matrixclown at 9:52 PM on February 16, 2012


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posted by longdaysjourney at 9:54 PM on February 16, 2012


My god. What a loss.
posted by mr_roboto at 10:08 PM on February 16, 2012


From the NYT link:
On a bend in the Tigris where caliphs summered when Baghdad was the City of Peace, the pontoons came first. Steel and asphalt followed. Now, two years on, the Greihat Bridge, a gesture of wartime expediency, has become permanent, traversing the river, joining two Shiite Muslim neighborhoods and, some fear, going too far.

The footbridge’s rationale is mundane: to carry Shiites from Greihat to the sacred, gold-leafed shrine in Kadhimiya, bypassing routes through Sunni neighborhoods. Its symbolism is momentous, though. Traffic is already channeled around sectarian fault lines. Blast walls besiege every neighborhood. But the Greihat Bridge, just 15 feet across and 575 feet long, is possibly the first piece of infrastructure built to reflect and accommodate the reality of a divided Baghdad, suggesting the permanence of what has been wrought.
What a loss — the man and his unfinished work.

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posted by deanklear at 10:10 PM on February 16, 2012


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posted by Ink-stained wretch at 10:38 PM on February 16, 2012


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posted by spinifex23 at 10:47 PM on February 16, 2012


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posted by Joh at 10:54 PM on February 16, 2012


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posted by brennen at 11:04 PM on February 16, 2012


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posted by undue influence at 11:35 PM on February 16, 2012


Night Draws Near is a very fine account of the early phase of Desert W. Storm. A terrible loss.
posted by the duck by the oboe at 11:56 PM on February 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


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posted by rumposinc at 2:25 AM on February 17, 2012


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posted by stagewhisper at 4:42 AM on February 17, 2012


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posted by JoeXIII007 at 5:49 AM on February 17, 2012


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posted by kmz at 6:02 AM on February 17, 2012


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posted by pointystick at 6:18 AM on February 17, 2012


As a childhood asthma sufferer, this just hits me so viscerally. What a terrifying, frustrating way to die, especially with all the other close calls he had, from being shot to being kidnapped.

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posted by hydropsyche at 6:27 AM on February 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


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posted by ZeusHumms at 6:38 AM on February 17, 2012


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posted by motdiem2 at 6:39 AM on February 17, 2012


NPR's Quil Lawrence remembers Shadid.

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posted by Gelatin at 7:24 AM on February 17, 2012


Oh, God. Man, asthma sucks. What a terrible way to go.

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posted by brundlefly at 8:04 AM on February 17, 2012


So sad
posted by Forktine at 8:18 AM on February 17, 2012


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posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:53 AM on February 17, 2012


Typical mealy-mouthed gutlessness by NPR this morning in reviewing his career, to say that he was kidnapped briefly by Libyans and shot in the West Bank (in 2002), without mentioning that he was almost certainly shot by an Israeli soldier.
posted by jamjam at 9:21 AM on February 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


This news hit me really hard. Thanks for the post.
posted by languagehat at 9:23 AM on February 17, 2012


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posted by evidenceofabsence at 9:42 AM on February 17, 2012


Here's the story that won him a Pulitzer in 2004

And here's the story that won him another in 2010: In the City of Cement

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posted by homunculus at 2:15 PM on February 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Anthony Shadid yearned for home: In a soon-to-be published memoir the fallen war reporter told the story of rebuilding his grandmother's house.

House of Stone: A Memoir of Home, Family, and a Lost Middle East
posted by homunculus at 7:25 PM on February 17, 2012


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posted by halonine at 7:48 PM on February 17, 2012


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posted by AJaffe at 8:22 PM on February 17, 2012


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posted by rogueepicurean at 9:57 PM on February 17, 2012


Islamists’ Ideas on Democracy and Faith Face Test in Tunisia. [NYTL] This article was reported and written before (but published after) Mr. Shadid’s death in Syria.
posted by shoesfullofdust at 10:41 PM on February 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


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posted by grrarrgh00 at 8:33 AM on February 18, 2012


Excerpt: House of Stone
posted by homunculus at 5:19 PM on February 19, 2012


Syria: War Reporter Marie Colvin and Photographer Rémi Ochlik Are Killed
posted by exogenous at 6:28 AM on February 22, 2012


Bearing Witness in Syria: A War Reporter’s Last Days
posted by homunculus at 4:26 PM on March 3, 2012


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