"When you say ‘war photographer’ the first image that comes to mind is someone crazy for the bang bang. Not Anja. She was an artist. She used her sensitivity and sense of understanding to access the human side of war." In Memoriam: Anja Niedringhaus (1965—2014)
are powerful and beautiful.
Shooting The Messengers
So, what guides a journalist's decisions in these unlovely places? The frequently repeated maxim that "no story is worth dying for" rings a little hollow. The awkward truth is that, in this field, personal bravery is simultaneously discouraged and rewarded. [more inside]
The history of the Russian-Chechen conflict spans two centuries. Images of Chechen enemies were mentioned even in a lullaby by Lermontov that put children to sleep in the 19th century.
War correspondents Robert Parsons, Sofie Shehab, Petra Prohazkova and Andrey Babitsky tell about the war they saw with their own eyes in Nino Kirtadze’s film “The Chechen Lullaby”. [more inside]
'The Hubris and Despair of War Journalism
What Martha Gellhorn
teaches us about the morality of contemporary war reportage.' [more inside]
Every World Press Photo Award Winner From 1955-2011.
Many photos not safe for work and/or not safe for life, due to images of violence.
"First Kill is a war documentary
that explores the dark side of man and the psychology of soldiers at war. Vietnam veterans are interviewed about their experiences and what war does to the human mind and soul."
We got through the basics—how I’d arrived in Libya, why I was there—in civil tones. Then the Inspector asked, “If you were a professor at Harvard, why did you quit your job to come risk your life in Libya?” I explained as best I could that I had not been a professor but a graduate student, and part of my training was teaching undergraduates. The academic job market was tough and demoralizing, and the rigidity of the academic lifestyle had never appealed to me that much anyway. I had suspected for a few years that I’d be temperamentally better suited to working as a reporter. “Why you work journalist? You don’t study journalism, you study history!”
—What I Lost in Libya
by Clare Morgana Gillis, a journalist who was captured by Gadhafi forces.
"It is a scene from which many of us would naturally recoil, or at least avert our eyes: a grievously injured young man, fallen on a rough patch of earth; his open-mouthed and unseeing stare registering — who can know what? — horror or fear or shock; being tended desperately by two companions in what are the first moments of the final hours of his life."
The New York Times' Lens Blog explores the circumstances and consequences
of the Associated Press releasing Julie Jacobsen's photo depicting Lance Cpl. Joshua M. Bernard after he was struck by a rocket-propelled grenade in a Taliban ambush. [more inside]
The Frontline club
is a media club
in west London supporting international independent journalism. Started by Vaughan Smith (prev)
after the Frontline TV agency closed
, it has a restaurant
, cinema and hosts talks
by leading journalists
. The website has blogs
, and you can watch full length videos
of talks, with people like Jeremy Paxman
, David Horovitz
and Robert Thomson
As Iraqis See It.
"About a year ago, McClatchy Newspapers
set up a blog exclusively for contributions from its Iraqi staff. 'Inside Iraq
,' it's called, and several times a week the Iraqi staff members post on it about their experiences and impressions. 'It's an opportunity for Iraqis to talk directly to an American audience,' says Leila Fadel, the current bureau chief. As such, the blog fills a major gap in the coverage." Previously discussed here
. [Via disinformation.]
"You Don't Understand Our Audience"
--what John Hockenberry (formerly of NBC, now at MIT Media Lab
) learned about network news--good guys and bad guys, the "emotional center", synergy, facts, and why fewer and fewer watch nowadays.
What Cats Know About War.
A reporter adopts cats to reconnect with life amid unremitting death. [Via linkfilter.] [more inside]
Frederick Remington was an American artist who in 1898 became a war correspondent and illustrator for the New York Morning Journal
during the Spanish-American War. The Journal's
editor in chief, William Randolph Hearst I was an American newspaper magnate whose paper had, circa 1895, fought to liberate Cuba from Spanish rule by writing sensational stories of Cuban virtue and Spanish atrocities in an attempt to influence US opinion. In 1898, Hearst sent Remington to Cuba to report on the war which Hearst was certain was about to begin. However when Remington arrived, he telegrammed Hearst saying "Everything is quiet. There is no trouble here. There will be no war. I wish to return." Hearst responded "Please remain. You furnish the pictures, and I'll furnish the war." Not long after, the war began. These telegrams are often cited as one of the most famous (if not the first) examples of yellow journalism
(so much so it is mentioned in Citizen Kane
) and is meant to speak to the powerful potential effects of the news media. But did The Remington-Hearst "telegrams"actually ever take place, or is this simply another urban legend
Iraq: The Hidden Story
is a very interesting 48 minute Channel 4 report on the news you see and the news you don't. Not for the squeamish. via
Newsfilter: Chechen war reporter found dead
- Anna Politkovskaya
. Courageous reporting
from the "forgotten" conflicts
. I guess she found out the truth too often.
The Great War:
"People at the time experienced it differently. We may think they were misinformed and deluded, and perhaps they were, or maybe we have become incredibly cynical and mistrusting. What were once considered to be civic virtues are now thought to be quaint anachronisms at best or grand delusions at worst. Things change." The site proffers an incredible variety of popular-press articles and imagery concerning the unfortunate European events of 1914 to 1918.
The big payback in Iraq.
Last night on the Newshour with Jim Lehrer, ROBERT LICHTER, President, Center for Media and Public Affairs put forth the following: You know, Charlie Peter, a great Washington journalist, once said, "The message of Watergate was dig, dig, dig, but journalists thought the message was act tough." And so I think you're getting negative coverage that may be kind of compensatory criticism.
Should the news focus more on the optimistic elements
or is it reflecting public opinion
. Is "compensatory criticism" justified for what it might wrongly perceive as possible White House manipulation during the run up to the war?
Don't Bomb Us.
In response to credible reports that Bush wanted to bomb al-Jazeera's HQ in allied Qatar
on MeFi), Al Jazeera staffers start their own English-language blog. Their site contains remembrances of their fallen colleagues
, firsthand accounts of US attacks
on their offices, links to relevant reports
on the controversy
, Flickr photosets
of protests calling for an official investigation
, and al Jazeera's code of ethics
. Also, a quick note to Tony Blair: " P.S. Thanks for talking Mr. Bush out of bombing our offices!
" Not surprisingly, their blog is generating some comments
In the Hot Zone
Yahoo! have hired journalist Kevin Sites
(previously discussed here
) to 'cover every armed conflict in the world within one year... to provide a clear idea of the combatants, victims, causes, and costs of each of these struggles - and their global impact'. The NYT
(reg required) quotes Lloyd Braun, Head of Yahoo! Media Group, saying that he hopes they can combat the "growing public distrust of network news... [with] a transparency I think the Internet user wants and the news audience is craving".
From her perspective, it was just opening fire by a tank
. Giuliana Sgrena, the freed Italian journalist who was shot at by American troops upon her release, sets the record straight: there was no checkpoint, she was on a secure VIP road that runs directly from the Green Zone to the Baghdad airport, and her car was shot at from behind. Transcript
, and video
of an interview with Naomi Klein, who talked to Sgrena in Rome.
The Top 10 Most Underreported Humanitarian Stories of 2004
as compiled by Doctors Without Borders - wars, disease, famine, and repression that has gone largely unnoticed in mainstream media [via PBS' NewsHour
- real audio streaming link].
US Military 'still failing to protect journalists in Iraq'
(Guardian link, reg. req use bugmenot.com
This isn't the first time
allegations of mistreatment of journalists have been levelled at the US troops. Nor is it the second
and the military has even admitted to killing an Arab journalist
and some are questioning if the US military wants to kill journalists
? The list of dead journalists
and another list from AlJazeera.net
, continues to grow
And, because I'd not seen if before and don't recall seeing it here before, the Iraq Body Count database
(the civilian death toll) and here it is, all on one big page
Fallujah in pictures.
Graphic images of destruction and loss.
Five Days in Hell
- what's it like to be an Iraqi hostage? Canadian war journalist Scott Taylor provides a harrowing account of his recent 5-day ordeal as a hostage of notorious Islamic mujahedin groups. Christopher Delisso has an interview
with Taylor, and blogger Zeyad of Healing Iraq
offers informed local commentary on kidnappings in his post, "On clerics, fatwas and terrorism."
On Monday, US Civil Administrator Paul Bremer handed over "sovereignty" to the Interim Government of Iraq in a furtive ceremony, two days ahead of schedule. Not the stuff that independence days are made of. How sovereign is Iraq; what kind of future does the ongoing process offer for that shattered nation; and most significantly, how can a genuinely free, democratic and prosperous Iraq be created? Al-Ahram Weekly, in these special pages, invited Iraqi journalists and intellectuals to provide some answers. via Informed Comment
War is Hell: Generation Kill
Torn by War Porn*? Just can't get enough?
For those of you who stopped reading Rolling Stone some time in the 80's, and therefore most likely missed Evan Wright's war dispatches from Humvee Number One last summer, we bring you: Generation Kill:Devil Dogs, Iceman, Captain America, and the New Face of American War
("reprint" of NYT review).
*Oddly enough, Evan Wright's journalistic career began as a porn critic for Hustler. True story.
Journalism is an increasingly deadly profession.
Statistics vary. The Committee to Protect Journalists reports 36 deaths in 2003
while the International Press Institute documents 64 deaths
. Iraq was the most life-threatening country, but the Philippines and Columbia remain some of of the most dangerous places to be a reporter. Four media deaths at the hands of US military in Iraq continue to spark controversy, and a Global Day of Mourning and Protest
over the U.S. "abject failure" to probe the Palestinian Hotel deaths is scheduled for April 8. This year, Haiti
appears to be another hotspot. The International News Safety Institute offers safety tips
and member advice on how to stay alive
Turning the tanks on the reporters
The Observer's Phillip Knightley writes that Iraq will go down as the war when journalists seemed to become a target
. Predicted here
, discussed "in progress" here
. The BBC, Al-Jazeera, and the US Committee to Protect Journalists thought it prudent to find out from the Pentagon what steps they could take to protect their correspondents if war came to Iraq... All three organisations concluded that the Pentagon was determined to deter western correspondents from reporting any war from the 'enemy' side; would view such journalism in Iraq as activity of 'military significance', and might well bomb the area.
Salam Pax, the Baghdad Blogger
is finally tracked down
I just read an article about a one-man
off-Broadway play based on the war reporting of Ernie Pyle. Meanwhile, the IU School of Journalism
is reprinting three dozen of his dispatches. It is interesting that Pyle, perhaps the original embedded reporter managed to report honestly
about the horrors of war in spite of perhaps a more sweeping censorship department that read everything coming from the front. Pyle's description of Normandy
(previously discussed) is a classic contrasting a beautiful day on the beach, the human and material wreckage, and even empathy for German prisoners of war. And then there was some black humor
of surviving near misses that could have come out of Catch 22
or Slaugherhouse 5
. His unfinished final dispatch reads like poetry:
"Dead men by mass production--in one country after another--month after month and year after year. Dead men in winter and dead men in summer.
"Dead men in such familiar promiscuity that they become monotonous.
"Dead men in such monstrous infinity that you come almost to hate them."
was recently "demoted
," this came after her public comments
about coverage of the war in Iraq. I have thought about her in the past, but never as an ideologue
, and certainly not as a journalist on the level of Maria Bartiromo
. It is shocking that her career might be a casualty
. Thoughts about this fallen soldier
, as a journalist
, or as a hot
BBC News reporters' weblog on the war is closed.
It was a great example of how the idea of weblog can be used in mainstream media. (Although it lacked hyper-links) In it's last instalment, reporters record some final impressions and look back at what it was like reporting the war. The daily archives are available on the right column of the page.
Media Map of Iraq
(Requires Flash 6.) Click on a location or unit to see a list of embedded reporters. Then each reporter's name is a link to a list of their war reporting either at their website or via a Google News search. Also, Poynter.org is constantly looking to improve this map
via reader input, as the Pentagon is not giving up much information on the embedment program. Also, The Atlantic Monthly/Washington Post's Michael Kelly is the first embedded reporter to be killed
in this war.