Monday 12 December 2011

Five links from 2011: 'War Reporting'

This year I bookmarked at least 530 links on delicious. I know that because I try to tag each bookmark by year - I'm three hundred or so links down on last year's total of 854.

Seeing as we're coming to the end of the year I thought I'd pick out a few of the 'best', 'most interesting', 'memorable' or simply 'random' links on various topics from among the 530.

In this post, I've selected from those that are also tagged 'war reporting'.

1. Sebastian Junger remembers Tim Hetherington

In April, photojournalist Tim Hetherington was killed while reporting from Misrata in Libya. Colleague and friend Sebastian Junger reflects on his life and death:
"That was a fine idea, Tim—one of your very best. It was an idea that our world very much needs to understand. I don’t know if it was worth dying for—what is?—but it was certainly an idea worth devoting one’s life to. Which is what you did. What a vision you had, my friend. What a goddamned terrible, beautiful vision of things."
2. Libya conflict: journalists trapped in Tripoli's Rixos hotel
"It's a desperate situation," [the BBC's Matthew] Price told Radio 4's Today programme. "The situation deteriorated massively overnight when it became clear we were unable to leave the hotel of our own free will … Gunmen were roaming around the corridors … Snipers were on the roof."
3. War, too close for comfort

Simon Klingert talks to some people on a train about his life as a photojournalist:
““So have you ever seen someone die?” It was about two minutes into our conversation when the question had popped up. The question. Not that I minded though. After all, it seems like a natural question to ask when you tell people you’re trying to make a living as a war correspondent and it dawns on them you actually like what you are doing..”
4. The hazards of war reporting from behind a desk

BBC journalist Alex Murray reflects on reporting the conflict in Libya from his computer screen:
"But the war has been very close to me, too close sometimes. Viewing them [videos from Libya] in a corner of the newsroom on a screen with nobody else sharing the experience at that moment is a dissociative experience. The process of analysing it, effectively repeatedly exposing myself to the same brutal events, does not make it easier."
5. Image of the child of fallen soldier trends on Facebook

I typed 'Afghanistan' into the Kurrently search engine one day and noticed that this photo was being passed rapidly around Facebook in the United States. I find the photo jarring and unsettling: the artificial neatness of a homely, yet staged photograph here represents the tragic consequences of a chaotic, complicated and distant battlefield.      


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