Journalists on the Frontlines

22 Feb

Marie Colvin and Rémi Ochlik -- © Photo from NY Times Article

I am often moved by what I see and read on the news: when you sift through the crap, you find real news. Hard, soft, it doesn’t matter as long as it’s real. Extraordinary people get them from the field to you, to us. I am not talking about the people with their head plastered on buses or hosting shows in comfy studios. The real people.

I wanted to be one of them.    

I was inspired by a voice coming all the way from Asia, reporting on news sometimes in Japan sometimes in China. He wasn’t covering conflicts, he was doing everything, the glamorous and the boring. He was the Asian correspondent for the Radio Suisse Romande (www.RSR.ch), and I am sure he has retired by now and – for the life of me – I cannot remember his name, but his voice is still in my head.

I am not a journalist, but I did study journalism in Switzerland, and was planning to work in a local radio station before climbing the ladder and one day becoming a Foreign Correspondent for the RSR. After graduating, I wanted to live in an English-speaking country because I knew I’d need a good level of English to get to the top rung. I got sidetracked while working as a French teacher in the USA. But it’s not about me.

It’s about all the journalists who die, are injured or taken hostage while doing their job on the frontlines. Marie Colvin and Rémi Ochlik died yesterday in Syria and three other journalists were injured. I have lost count of the number of journalists who have died there in the past weeks; and everywhere else.

I know civilians die every day for no good reason, but I always feel a special bond for the anonymous who risk their lives to bring us news, whatever their reasons.

I wish I were that extraordinary.

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5 Responses to “Journalists on the Frontlines”

  1. janiqueracine 15 J0000002Australia/Sydney 2011 at 11:37 am #

    This article in French says that journalists are targeted in Syria.
    http://www.lepoint.fr/monde/syrie-les-journalistes-nouvelle-cible-de-bachar-el-assad-22-02-2012-1434131_24.php

  2. Graham Fletcher 15 J0000002Australia/Sydney 2011 at 4:33 am #

    Janique, I couldn’t agree more, I think also that she must be one of the worlds foremost journalists, such a tragidy, the west may now mobolise sad for the Syrians we don’t appear to be listening to them.

    • janiqueracine 15 J0000002Australia/Sydney 2011 at 10:36 am #

      Thank you, Graham. It is a complicated situation and journalists (in my view) are risking their lives to cover what is really happening in the streets so that the Western and Middle-Eastern suits can make an educated decision. It is such an important job, but so far their lives have been lost for nothing. How many civilians and reporters have to die for some action?

  3. Emily He 15 J0000002Australia/Sydney 2011 at 3:39 pm #

    You are extraordinary in your own ways, Janique. But I know what you mean, because I feel that way too about humanitarian workers and teachers, and now, thanks to your perspective, journalists too. I think I have personally taken journalists for granted and don’t think deeply about what they go through to bring us news. There was, however, an article I read in NYTimes about an African American man who runs an online newspaper based in the US, but reports from his war-ridden home country (I CANNOT REMEMBER WHICH COUNTRY!!!) as the only non-governmental interfered news. I was in awe of that man, but of course I forgot his name….

    Well, blogging about what you see on a day to day basis in your travels is also reporting…. not as life-threatening, but still bringing your readers news/information on your whereabouts. Long stretch?

    • janiqueracine 15 J0000002Australia/Sydney 2011 at 5:48 pm #

      Hihihi! Very long stretch but who knows, maybe one day I’ll be able to call myself a journalist, even if I won’t be reporting from any front line.

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