broadsideblog

Tim Hetherington, war photographer in HBO doc April 18, 8:00 p.m. ET

In film, History, journalism, Media, news, photography, television, the military, war on April 18, 2013 at 12:53 am

By Caitlin Kelly

English: Tim Hetherington at a Hudson Union So...

English: Tim Hetherington at a Hudson Union Society event with Sebastian Junger, co-director of the Oscar-nominated, Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize-winning documentary, Restrepo. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For those of you not working in news journalism, or photojournalism, award-winning British photographer Tim Hetherington was only 40 when he was killed in Misrata, Libya with photographer Chris Hondros in April 2011.

It’s easy to forget — or not even really understand — that while soldiers are killed, or maimed and traumatized by fighting in war, so are journalists, photographers, videographers and their fixers and interpreters. You can’t phone in war photos, so those shooting with a camera are often as much in the line of fire, as much in harm’s way as the soldiers they are with.

It is a small and tightly-knit community of men and women war journalists who move from one conflict zone to the next, their helmets and Kevlar flak jackets ever at the ready.

Author, writer and film-maker Sebastian Junger, who lives in New York, gave this long and intimate radio interview yesterday on the Leonard Lopate show on WNYC. He made an award-winning war documentary, Restrepo, with Hetherington.

Here are some images of American soldiers by Hetherington at the International Center of Photography, on display until May 13.

Every journalist, journalism teacher and student of journalism needs to watch this film and know what news reporting can cost.

A life.

English: Tim Hetherington at a photo session i...

English: Tim Hetherington at a photo session in Huambo, Angola in 2002. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I hope you’ll make time to watch this documentary and remember the sacrifice and bravery of those who witness war on our behalf.

We owe them our attention and respect.

  1. Were you or your husband ever war journalists?

  2. Yes, Jose spent six weeks over Xmas 1995 shooting the end of the Bosnian war for the NYT. While he was never under fire, he saw much that was grisly and frightening — and was threatened a few times.

  3. What a shame. It is in death that we see the true value of living. Perhaps one day we will all understand the folly of war and do away with it altogether.

  4. The courage of war journalists and photographers is amazing since they often place themselves in the same position as the troops ie. the front line, in order to bring us the truest reports, but cannot carry weapons with which to defend themselves. A shame that as we’ve grown created more and better cameras, more and better weapons over the years we haven’t grown civilised enough to find a way to end wars..

    • It’s ironic that the military can kill from a distance with drones and planes, but journalists need to be in the line of fire to show us what’s happening.

  5. Thank you for this. In this age of instant media, we need to acknowledge the work that true journalists and photojournalists do. Knowledge is power and they give us the knowledge, if we’re smart enough to seize it. (Just a mini-rant from an old journalism major.)

    • People now think (rant alert!) that tweeting = journalism (simply because it’s super fast and democratic); same for cellphone images. It ignores the larger truth that there are underlying principles and ethics that professional journalists share — and those who play fast and loose are shunned or fired, not lauded for their rebellion.

      • Amen to that. When we dumb down our news (which we have done) we dumb down the population (and God knows some of them are dumb enough),

  6. Damn, I was probably stuck in a dodgy motel sans cable somewhere when this was airing. Must go see if I can get my hands on it. A big hat tip to the guys and girls who go to war, in any capacity. The battlefield is something I sincerely hope I never see in my lifetime.

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