New York Times reporter Stephen Farrell was rescued from Taliban clutches today, though his Afghan interpreter was killed in the raid to rescue them. Farrell had been captured last week in Kunduz, where he was reporting on a NATO airstrike that killed civilians.
The story generated conversation in the CNN newsroom about why reporters willingly place themselves in harm’s way; why they volunteer to go to war zones, natural disasters, police states and other hostile environments. I was asked the very same question at a foreign policy forum I attended a few weeks ago.
Certainly, no one has a death wish.
But I suppose the truth of the matter is that the adrenaline rush can be addictive. There’s something very powerful about feeling your heart race, knowing that you got the story even as danger lurks close by.
Still, journalists don’t travel to places like Iraq or Afghanistan to get shot at or roll over deep buried bombs. We go there because we care. We go there because we know the story won’t get out if we all decided to stay at home.
Today, I salute my brave colleagues who have put their own lives aside to bring the stories of others to life. I am relieved to know Farrell is safe; distressed that Sultan Munadi died in a hail of bullets that were fired in the raid. And extremely grateful for their courage.