Thursday, April 21, 2011
Silencing the Witnesses
This disturbing and extraordinary photograph of a little girl in Iraq, covered in the blood of her parents who have just been murdered by American soldiers, was taken in 2005 by Chris Hondros, one of the two photojournalists killed yesterday in Misurata in Libya. The other was Tim Hetherington, one of the directors of the film "Restrepo." Both were killed when struck by a RPG while covering the attack on the rebel-held town by government forces.
Photojournalists are the eyes of the world: they reveal things that most of us would not otherwise see, bringing acts of horror and heroism to light. Smart governments try to co-opt their vision; others try to repress it, and the most brutal try to silence it with violence. These photographers were real heroes. Sadly much of what passes for a free press in the United States is the pathetic drivel of infotainment or corporate and rightwing propaganda merely disguised as news. The work of these two men transcended that base standard.
Information on the rising number of journalists targeted with violence and repression can be found at the Committee to Protect Journalists website.