When Journalists Become News.


By Alejandro Gonzalez, Deborah Jeggli, Jaime Carro and Susana Andres.

In the so-called “City of Revolution” Homs the Syrian army killed 60 people on Wednesday 22nd of February 2012. Two of the death persons were western journalists, corresponding from Syria.

Colvin in Chechnya in 1999. Photograph: Dmitri Beliakov/Rex

The well-known American journalist Marie Colvin was one of the victims. She died when fleeing from the Syrian troops bombing the area. Marie Colvin and her French colleague, war-photographer Rémi Ochlik, were staying in a makeshift media center in the Baba Amr district of Homs. Activist mostly used this house as a media center. The building was located just near a makeshift hospital, where they were reporting.

The Syrian army started to shell the opposite-held area on early Wednesday, when Marie Colvin and Rémi Ochlik were staying there. A rocket falling down nearby attacked the editors-at-large while fleeing. About 60 people were left dead. Also two other western journalists and a lot of local journalist were wounded when the rebel-hold town of Homs was artillery attacked. What happened to the leftovers of the bodies of Marie Colvin and Rémi Ochlik is still unclear. Some sources say that they were brought from Damascus to Paris on Sunday the 3rd of March 2012. Others report, that they were buried beneath rubble after the building was collapsed.

The story of Marie Colvin’s death was instantly spread all over the world. The Sunday Times war reporter was known as one of the most important correspondents in middle east, being for example, the first on interviewing Muammar Gaddafi.

Marie Colvin lived for her work, getting involved in every war. As far as possible she made herself a brave women in acts like saving the lives of 1500 women and children from the Indonesian backed force. An action for what she got the International Women’s Media Foundation Award for courage in journalism.

Her primary goal had always been to inform even the most dangerous war cases and not worrying too much about her own life. She was demonstrating this several times as for example in 2001, when she lost one of her eyes by a grenade attack in Sri Lanka. After this happened her main sign was a black-eyed patch.

Marie Colvin’s hard work over the last 30 years, when she has being informing about conflicts in the Middle East and other war zones worldwide, made her the Best Foreign Correspondent in many Press Awards.

This is actually what it makes a journalist to become the most important global news for a few hours. The altruistic hard work and the completely dedication to inform. This is what made Marie Colvin the Best Foreign Journalist.

Her death was an important and very sad lost for the international journalism. Some of her colleagues therefore wrote their particular memorials.

There was human worry and concern and fear, and [she was] very concerned for her family, because she knew how worried they’d be,” “But at the same time a consummate professional who felt that this was a very, very difficult place to get to but she had to go there to tell the world what was happening.”

Stephen Farrel, The New York Times.

“This is a desperately sad reminder of risks that journalists take to inform the world of what is happening and the dreadful events in Syria, and our thoughts should be with her family and friends.”

David Cameron, prime minister.

“Marie was an extraordinary figure in the life of The Sunday Times, driven by a passion to cover wars in the belief that what she did mattered. She believed profoundly that reporting could curtail the excesses of brutal regimes and make the international community take notice.”

John Witherow, editor of The Sunday Times.

 

“She was totally committed to what she did and the importance of telling the story and writing it and getting it out to the world no matter what. That was her life.”

Rosemarie Colvin, Marie’s mother.

“Imagine a real life Katharine Hepburn heroine but braver and funnier. Marie Colvin was everywhere I was in Libya, only she always got there first.”

Paul Danahar, BBC Middle East bureau chief.

“Marie Colvin gave a voice to so many people’s suffering, bore witness to so much injustice.”

Anderson Cooper, CNN.

“Dreadful day for journalism as the fearless Marie Colvin of the Sunday Times killed in Syria.”

James Chapman, American novelist and publisher.

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