Journalism and courage

Marie Colvin lost an eye in Sri Lanka.
She was killed in Syria.

Today, journalists are mourning the deaths of two of their own.Marie Colvin of London’sSunday Times and French journalist Remi Olchik were killed Wednesday in thebesieged Syrian city of Homs.

Their deaths came a few days after we learnedNew York Times reporter Anthony Shadid died of an asthma attack, also in Syria.

Remi Olchlik was also killed in Homs.

They were courageous. Brave in the actionsthey took and even braver in what they told the world about atrocities andinjurites they witnessed firsthand.

They are worthy of headlines and deserving of tribute.

Chandrika Rai and his family were
 bludgeoned to death in India.

So are journalists of lesser name who put their lives on the lineevery day reporting from their own countries.

The Committee to Protect Journalists reported this week thatIndian journalist Chandrika Rai , his wife and two teenage children werebludgeoned to death in their home in Umaria in the state of Madhya Pradesh.Rai, 42, worked for Hindi-language dailies and was investigating illegal coalmining in Umaria.

The committee quoted Shalabh Bhadoria, president of a MadhyaPradesh press freedoms group, who said that Rai’s death could be connected tothe kidnapping of a local official’s son. Rai apparently, had contradicted agovernment official’s claim that the two kidnapping suspects were not guilty.

The committee has asked for an investigation. Local journalistswore black arm bands this week in remembrance.

We hearof cases like Chandrika’s all too often. Journalists who go missing. Or are founddecapitated. 

Theytake enormous risks to tell the story. And unlike foreign journalists, localreporters do not have the luxury of “getting out” after they get thestory. They must remain in their communities and be ready to suffer theconsequences.

Kudos tomy colleagues across the world who take such risks every day of their lives.They are committed and passionate about what they do. On this awful day oftragedy, I salute them all.

Indianjournalist Barkha Dutt said on Twitter said this morning:  “For all those who sit at their computers& pass easy judgment Marie Colvins death in Syria grim reminder of courageneeded to go out there”

I secondthat thought.

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