Journalism has a bad reputation, but one look at Marie Colvin and her work and anyone can see that it can be a honourable profession. I have a huge respect for war reporters, and for Marie, who put herself in danger time and time again, until it eventually cost her her life.
Today journalism lost Marie, who was more than just a war reporter. She was a reporter on the human condition, and her reporting brought home to the privileged and the free how others in the world were suffering.
In a speech two years ago about the importance of war reporting (full text here), she said:
Covering a war means going to places torn by chaos, destruction and death, and trying to bear witness. It means trying to find the truth in a sandstorm of propaganda when armies, tribes or terrorists clash. And yes, it means taking risks, not just for yourself but often for the people who work closely with you.
We go to remote war zones to report what is happening. The public have a right to know what our government, and our armed forces, are doing in our name. Our mission is to speak the truth to power. We send home that first rough draft of history. We can and do make a difference in exposing the horrors of war and especially the atrocities that befall civilians.
She bore witness, and exposed the truth, and there will be people out there who will get away with things now that she is no longer here to shine a light on the injustices they are taking part in.
In one of her final posts from Baba Amr in Syria she wrote:
Sickening, cannot understand how the world can stand by and I should be hardened by now. Watched a baby die today. Shrapnel, doctors could do nothing. His little tummy just heaved and heaved until he stopped. Feeling helpless. As well as cold! Will keep trying to get out the information.
Marie was not the only person to die in the attack in Syria. Photographer Remi Ochlik was also killed, and dozens of others died as Syria continued its bombardment in Homs, while masses more have been killed over the past months. I never met Marie, but from everything of hers that I have read and heard and seen, she would want those who died in Syria to be remembered just as much as she is.
So, we must ask ourselves, in memory of Marie Colvin and because she no longer can, how can we stand by and watch as injustice rages across the world?