I Hear You: Tribute to a Courageous Reporter

Anthony Shadid, an American foreign correspondent of Lebanese descent, died last week in Syria. He was there secretly with his photographer, Tyler Hicks, meeting with government opposition forces, reporting for The New York Times. He was only 43, and is survived by his wife and two children.

Mr. Shadid was a long-time sufferer of asthma. Despite his ailment, he devoted his life to covering events in the Middle East for The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, and The Associated Press, and won several Pulitzer Prizes for his work. During his career, he was shot, harassed, arrested and detained by several Middle East governments. However, he remained dedicated to bringing us stories about the suffering of the everyday people in the Middle East during the past 20 years of upheaval. For example, in 2004 he received the Pulitzer Prize for his article covering the U.S. invasion and overthrow of Saddam Hussein, for, “his extraordinary ability to capture, at personal peril, the voices and emotions of Iraqis as their country was invaded, their leader toppled and their way of life upended.”

Mr. Shadid had been in Syria secretly for a week to learn more about the resistance to the current Syrian government who are intent on repressing that opposition. It was a dangerous assignment. He and Hicks entered Syria by walking through a fence at night from a border town in the mountains of Turkey. Guides with horses met them and led them to meet their sources. They traveled primarily at night to avoid being discovered by government forces. In fact, it was Shadid’s allergy to the guides’ horses that triggered a fatal asthma attack.

I mention Tyler Hicks because he, too, deserves our appreciation for his courage. In addition to accompanying Mr. Shadid on this and other assignments to provide photographs, he tried for 30 minutes to resuscitate Mr. Shadid and, when that failed, carried his body across the border to Turkey.

Those of you who follow me know that I have repeatedly praised the courage and hard work of reporters around the world. As a PR professional, I have met many reporters. I respect them, and hope somehow in this age of the demise of newspapers and objective journalism that – their dedication and commitment to bring us the truth survives.

To Mr. Anthony Shadid, I offer my highest praise that I can give to a reporter, “I hear you.” Thank you.

You can read Anthony Shadid’s final article covering what’s happening in Libya since the fall of Khadafy in The New York Times at: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/09/world/africa/libyas-new-government-unable-to-control-militias.html?_r=1

For more on Anthony Shadid, see the story in The New York Times at: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/17/world/middleeast/anthony-shadid-a-new-york-times-reporter-dies-in-syria.html

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.