Dying to Tell The Story

  • “If your pictures aren’t good enough, you aren’t close enough.” -Robert Capa, photographer
  • “The way to start in this business is to get a one way ticket to hell, and stay there long enough to tell the story.”
  • There’s no way you can hide behind the camera because you’re looking through it, and you feel closer to the person you’re taking a photo of.
  • It’s commitment, it’s sacrifice. It’s your job to record what is there.
  • “We’re licensed idiots who go out and stand in the line of fire.”
  • Conflict Zones- in the past 10 years, a journalist has been killed in one every week.
    • Dan Eldon died while covering the conflict in Somalia
    • Amy Eldon is her brother and narrator of the documentary
  • What motivates journalists around the world who are literally dying to tell the story?
  • London is a popular place where journalists who cover war zones come from- agreed to talk to Amy
  • “Covering a war is just like fighting a war. It’s 90% sitting around, 7 1/2% Desperate preparation, 2 1/2% intense activity. If you’re not ready and on the spot you’re going to miss it.”
  • “You cannot describe what it was like, they’ve never been there. It’s just not possible.”
  • “There is nothing like the smell of death. There is absolutely nothing like it.”
  • “There is something unnatural and something shameful about sticking the camera in the face of someone who has just been wounded. It’s part of the job but you don’t feel good at the end of the day. It makes you feel like a vulture”
  • People assume that these journalists are just crazy people who don’t mind getting killed, but one journalist exclaimed that his main priority is his own safety.
  • “Sometimes you receive a result, and sometimes you don’t. It’s heartbreaking when you don’t.”
  • People are always strangely drawn back, nothing compares to seeing the reality of humans fighting for survival.
  • Dan had no formal training in photography or what he called “how not to get your head shot off.” Dan only covered one war.
  • Martin Bell was a common war zone journalist, many many wars. “I never enjoyed being shot at or in danger, enjoyed the exhileration of being shot at with no results. At the end of the day you feel a sense of achievement from just being alive.” “As journalists, we are not apart from the world of war, we are apart of it. What we do has consequences.”
    • Martin Bell got hit by shrapnel, “okay, I’ll survive.” I didn’t have to be wounded, I was ashamed. Got flown to England, the trapped victims in the country didn’t get that opportunity.
    • Didn’t like wearing the flak jacket.
  • A lot of people who get killed, get killed young. Maybe they’re too enthusiastic. – Martin Bell
  • The other people who die play the game too long. – Martin Bell. “Don’t feel sorry for us, we choose it. We have a front row seat of the making of history that’s why we’re there.” “If people find your weakness they will toy your weakness.”
  • Christiane Amapour- fearless reporter. She gets tracked so people can go wherever she is. Proud of her work in Bosnia, went and stayed there for years. She did what they were mandated to do, they told the story. Great colleague and friend of Martin Bell.
    • Objectivity- means showing all sides of the story.
  • In Bosnia, genocide was being perpetrated in Europe 50 years after WW2. Sarajevo vs. Serbs battle every day. Was able to interview Bill Clinton. Bill Clinton treated her as if she was disrespectful.
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