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The role of war reporters

Chloe Tilley Chloe Tilley | 10:22 UK time, Thursday, 21 April 2011


This topic was discussed on World Have Your Say on 21 April 2011. Listen to the programme.

Amongst the civillian deaths and suffering in Misrata, the news has reached us that two news photographers have been killed whilst working in the beseiged city.

Tim Hetherington who was 40 and British and US photographer Chris Hondros who was 41 were killed in a rocket-propelled grenade attack. Two others, including British man Guy Martin, were injured.

Both excelled in their field, winning awards for their work. Tim Hetherington, co-directed the Oscar-nominated war documentary Restrepo.

Chris Hondros won the Robert Capa Gold Medal for war photography.

Tim was an active tweeter, here are some from when he was covering wars

19th april 2011

"In besieged Libyan city of Misrata. Indiscriminate shelling by Qaddafi forces. No sign of NATO."

27th sept 2010

Understanding what motivates soldiers...will...help us determine what we can & cannot reasonably expect from them

24th sept 2010

Just because a story is told from one perspective doesn't mean it can't be honest or truthful.

15th sept 2010

We are used to seeing soldiers as cardboard cut-outs. We dehumanise them, but war is a very intimate act

27 Aug 2010

My work is about trying to get us to understand that we are connected and trying to build bridges and understanding between people.

23rd aug 2010

The question is, how do we get people to engage w/ ideas of conflict? How do we get people to think about Afghanistan?

11th aug 2010

War is a very strange mix of things...it's kind of a cauldron w/ all sorts of human emotions...love & hate & brotherhood

These aren't the first deaths of journalists working in Libya since the conflict began in February. A cameraman for Al Jazeera, was killed back in March, another journalist from the TV channel was wounded near Benghazi. This blog highlights the dangers journalists face when working warzones.

"Besides the dangers of combat, there are the disappearances. The fate of a British journalist of Al-Jazeera, Kamel Ataloua, remains unknown....Four journalists, two Americans working for newspapers online, a Spaniard and a South African, one and the other photographers, disappeared on April 4.The Libyan government said they were detained and would be released, but the White House said that Americans were "very worried" about them. "

As well as talking to colleagues of Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros about their lives and work, we'll be talking about the role of the war reporter. What motivates them, should they be passive observers, recorders of history or someone who helps when they see humanitarian need?

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