Thursday, February 23, 2012

Heroes of Journalism

This has been a devastating week.  Two of the world's finest and most courageous reporters, Anthony Shadid and Marie Colvin, are no longer with us.  I saw Marie once in Gaza during the Disengagement in 2005, but never met her.  Anthony I did meet.  We worked under the same roof for about two weeks covering the revolution in Egypt for the NYT.  At the time, the Cairo bureau had so many reporters, photographers, producers, and stringers buzzing through it that it felt kind of like an ant farm.  From morning to well after midnight, we were all so busy with deadlines and writing and editing that we barely had time to eat.  While waiting for a piece to upload to NY very late one evening, I noticed Anthony smoking a cigarette out on the balcony, so I joined him. We chatted about the day's affairs.  I don't remember exactly what we spoke about, but I remember getting this amazing vibe from him.  Sometimes you can understand someone's essence in an instant and  I felt that way with Anthony.  We had just one conversation, but I felt like I knew him.  His voice, which I heard for the first time, seemed eerily familiar.  Maybe its because I have been listening to it in my internal monologue for so many years through his stories.  My gut feelings about  him have since been confirmed by the outpouring of letters from people who knew Anthony well.  I have learned through some of these tributes that Anthony's writing voice represented the man that he was.  Genuine, humble, full of empathy.  He didn't care for attention, but rather used his soapbox to raise awareness for the the ordinary man.  While we can't emulate talent, we can all try to work as compassionately and diligently as Anthony did.  He was a great role model and I  wish I could have known him better.  My heartfelt condolences go out to the families and loved ones of Marie Corvin and Anthony Shadid.  Two extraordinary beacons of light may be gone, but their words and examples will shine on forever.


Zachary Fu said...

Thank you for sharing your thoughts about Anthony Shadid; it touched me. I am a sophomore broadcast journalism major who is extremely interested in making documentaries. I am beginning to understand how intense the field of journalism can be and how passionate one must be in order to be successful. However, I do not think that any kind of training could prepare someone to cope with losing a fellow journalist out on the field. I know that you did not really know Anthony too much, but from the single conversation that you shared with him, you said that you felt that you knew him. When you heard the news of his death, what thoughts came to your mind? If it affected you, how did you cope with it? Also, have you ever lost a fellow journalist to war before? Reading your blog is inspiring me and opening my mind to see that journalism is probably the greatest occupation in the world because we have the opportunity to touch lives.

Taylor Durden said...

In a weird way, I found this post really encouraging. You only met Anthony once, but he made a lasting impression on you. I can only hope that someday I can make an impression like that on people all over the world through my journalistic reporting. I'm a Sophomore Journalism student at a Christian University in California, but the idea of covering hard stories, like those overseas, has always been in the back of my mind. In addition, I want to leave an impression like one Anthony left in your mind. You titled this blog "Heroes of Journalism". Why did you choose that title? What do you think makes Anthony and Marie "Heroes of Journalism"? Was it their willingness to report hard stories no matter the cost?
How do you see them, especially Anthony, as an inspiration, if at all?
The fact that people are putting their lives on the line to get the truth out is a scary thought. I'm realizing that I need to ask myself if I'm willing to do that in order to succeed in this journalism career field.

LENA SMITH said...

The recent loss of journalists like Anthony and Marie presents a sobering reality, indeed. I am increasingly convicted by the courage and commitment shown by these men and women reporting in Syria and around the world. Their presence in the heart of conflict seems to be, at times, the only support or representation that innocent civilians have. This is evident in Paul Conroy's recent statements to the BBC, describing Syria as the 'next Rwanda.' As a journalism student, I would be interested to know your thoughts on the value and necessity of such reporting, given your experience with conflict in the Middle East. Thank you for your contributions, Jaron. It is always encouraging to learn from your experience and steal a glimpse of the lives lived behind the lens.
-Lena Smith, Biola University.

Anonymous said...

This post really moved me. I know you only met Anthony once but is seemed like he had an everlasting affect. This an inspiring thing for us inspiring Journalists to look up to. I always learn the best from looking at others lives and feel encouraged to see a life well lived. I loved when you said, "Anthony's writing voice represented the man that he was." That is such a beautiful statement and something I strive to be like.

Stella Fidelia said...

I found this post is really encourage me. You only met Anthony once, but he give you a very good impression, until you called him “Heroes of Journalism”. And its happened too with Marrie. Im interested in your last sentence. You said “Two extraordinary beacons of light may be gone, but their words and examples will shine on forever.” This is what every journalists have to do. People will remember their words. Read your post, will encourage people especially they who work as a journalist. But, I have a question. In your opinion, what characteristic that a journalist should have? And why did you choose “Heroes of Journalism” as your title for this post? Isn’t it way too extreme?