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Dying for the Story

On the jacket of Terry Gould’s book, Marked for Death, (in red and black jagged type): “WHERE DO LOCAL JOURNALISTS FIND THE GUTS TO KEEP TELLING THE TRUTH IN PLACES WHERE DOING SO WILL GET THEM MURDERED?”

In Marked for Death, Terry Gould writes that “Worldwide, nearly three-quarters of journalists who die on assignment are targeted and assassinated for their dogged pursuit of important stories of injustice.”

Every day, there is a news article about another journalist in some part of the world, who has either been threatened or assassinated.

Gould documents the lives of seven journalists in Columbia, the Philippines, Bangladesh, Russia and Iraq who stayed on the story despite death threats from terrorists, corrupt politicians, gangsters, and paramilitary leaders.

The statistics  of journalists who have been murdered are staggering.  The Committee to Protect Journalists reports that 581  journalists  have been killed since 1992.

20 Deadliest Countries for Journalists

Iraq – 89
– 60
– 57
– 34
– 30
Somalia – 17
Mexico – 16

India – 15
– 14
Rwanda – 14
Tajikistan – 14
Pakistan – 14
Brazil – 12
Afghanistan – 10
Sri Lanka – 10
Sierra Leone – 9
Bangladesh – 8
Cambodia – 7
Angola – 6
Nepal – 6

Those of us in living in Southwest Texas  remember when journalist  Philip True was murdered.  Robert Rivard’s book Trail of Feathers was a revealing insight into True’s life, but his murder is unexplainable.  How does one explain the murders of dedicated journalists who are trying to tell the story??

Author Gould writes that

During my travels for this book, I tried to discover if there was one moment in the lives of these men and women when they realized they were willing to die for their stories.  I am still not certain if all of them deliberately chose martyrdom, or merely used the acceptance of death as a psychological tool that was necessary to do their work.  Some were so outraged by the criminality of their nations that they pushed their reporting into the realm of contemptuous editorializing, and were murdered shortly thereafter.  Many of their colleagues were equally outraged but survived, and they offered me insights into what journalists had to do to increase their longevity when covering very dangerous territory.  In one case, I was scheduled to interview a journalist who had defied the odds and, under constant threat of assassination, was still producing work even more defiant than that of her murdered colleagues.  Her name was Anna Politkovskaya, and when I landed in Moscow I learned she had been shot to death while I had been in the air on my way to meet her.  Politkovskaya is the subject of one of the chapters in this book.


About hopeseguin

Who am I? I'm still discovering just who I am, I suppose. A. Powell Davis writes that "Life is just a chance to grow a soul."

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