Up All Night: Hostile Environments
Tim Hetherington (R) and Sebastian Junger
A year after the death of war photographer Tim Hetherington in the siege of Misrata, he is still remembered. There are some fine examples of his photography that have been curated, including this little gallery at NPR. One of the best accounts of his life is by his colleague Brian Ross of ABC.
Hetherington's untimely and avoidable death profoundly affected his friend and fellow reporter Sebastian Junger. Junger was not with him when he and Chris Hondros were in the path of an exploding rocket-propelled grenade, and Junger is adamant that the groin wound that killed him was "not necessarily fatal."
A similar wound suffered by the BBC's Martin Bell who was actually filmed being hit by shrapnel in Sarajevo during the Bosnian war was quickly staunched and Bell was medi-vacked to safety. By contrast, although a veteran of combat in Afghanistan, Hetherington was not trained in battlefield first aid.
It's twenty years since the BBC ran its first Hazardous Environments course for reporters and the training given mainly by ex British Army personnel has been widely imitated. But as Junger says, this kind of training was not made available to the freelancers who take so many frontline risks.
Junger's course for freelancers, Reporters Instructed in Saving Colleagues made its debut in the week which saw the anniversary of the deaths of Hondros and Hetherington. Tonight/on Tuesday Junger will talk about it with the director of Tim Hetherington's alma mater, the Cardiff School of Journalism. Previously head of BBC Newsgathering, Richard Sambrook set up the course that could have saved Tim's life.
Listent to Hostile Environments 0235 on Tuesday 24 April during Up All Night with Rhod Sharp, or listen again until Monday 30 April.