When we blame all journalists for the political reasons and affiliation of Rupert Murdoch or Julian Assange, or for reporting the interminable dross some people churn in the name of wordsmithery, that majority of the shallow, superficial and vapid urban populace spend time reading and discussing, meaningless page 3 parties and celebrities, we forget the real journalists who face the bullets, tear gasses, bombs, strafing fighter planes, artillery shells, horrible mutiliation, torture and rape. Stan Storimans, who was killed by a Russian fighter plane during the 2008 Russia-Georgia war, Lara Logan molested during the Egyptian “democratic” revolution, Jineth Bedoya raped for years by communist guerrillas, Salim Shahzad, tortured and mutiliated to death by Pakistani ISI, to war correspondents, journalists and conflict photographers like Tim Hetherington, Chris Hondros, both killed in Libya, and Gilles Jacquier, killed last month in Syria.
Tonight we lost two more brave souls. Remi Ochlik and Marie Colvin of Sunday Times…probably the most gutsiest of contemporary women conflict correspondents. She lost an eye, covering Sri Lankan civil war in 2001, and used to wear an eye patch from then onwards, which somehow suited her never say die persona.
Only yesterday she reported in a BBC interview, describing the brutality of Syrian regime, her last on field report. Her last FB status was on 17th Feb. Her final report before death was posted by Sunday Times late last night.
It is a bit haunting, when you know someone senior from your profession, someone you look up to, and someone who you have interacted with before a few times, is dead. It is eerie, when you see their blank FB pages, those lively photos still staring at you, knowing that they have been dead only for a few hours now. Doing the thing, that all of us do. Reporting.
RIP Marie. And the countless others who have laid down their lives in the line of duty. For this noble and thankless profession. For this ungrateful planet.
The flag of Daily World Watch today is halfmast.