Being a war photographer requires, first of all, bravery, or at least the ability to stay calm in situations of extreme danger. The other necessary qualities, beyond technical skill, include dedication, energy, ambition, a sense of curiosity and adventure, and, of course, luck. Most photographers make their names, and survive, thanks to a combination of these traits, while a handful possess the kind of soaring talent that makes their work uniquely memorable. Stanley Greene had all of this, as well as a depth of feeling; it imbued everything he did, and is the indefinable thing permeating the pictures he took.Greene died last week, at age sixty-eight, after a long battle with cancer. I met him in Iraq, where we were both covering the wake of the United States military invasion of 2003. In the small international tribe of photographers who regularly cover war, Stanley stood out. A black man in a largely white group, he was tall and handsome, and effected his own piratical sense of style, typically wearing a beret or a bandanna on his head, a hoop in each earlobe, a scarf coiled around his neck, and cool John Lennon shades. He had a wonderfully mellifluous, clear drawl of a voice, and a storyteller’s instinct for timing, humor, and suspense.
Tag Archives: Journalism
When is a lie not a lie? Recently, the Daily Telegraph reported that university students had demanded that “philosophers such as Plato and Kant” be “removed from [the] syllabus because they are white”. Other outlets followed suit, wringing their hands over the censoriousness of today’s uninquiring young minds. The article generated an extraordinary amount of consternation click bait. Angry responses were written and hot takes were quick-fried and served up by outlets anxious to join the dinner rush of ad-friendly disapproval.
It’s a story that could have been designed to press every outrage button of the political-correctness-gone-mad brigade. It has students trying to ban things, an apparent lack of respect for independent thought and reverse racism. It seemed too good to be true.
Sixteen years ago, I sat in court 73 of the Royal Courts of Justice in London and felt the ground crumble beneath my feet. I was following the libel trial brought by David Irving, the Holocaust denier and “pro-Nazi polemicist” – to quote the judge’s eventual verdict – against Penguin Books, which had dared publish a text which told the truth about him.I watched as Irving discarded the usual rules of evidence. The eyewitness testimony of survivors was dismissed as lies. Confessions by the guilty were waved away as fake. Inconvenient documents were written off as forgeries. All that was left was what he wanted to believe.At the time, it struck me that Irving was threatening something greater even than the memory of the Holocaust: he was undermining the very idea of facts, history and truth. If every item of evidence could be rubbished as bogus, then how could anyone ever prove anything? How would we know that Henry VIII had six wives or that Napoleon fought at Waterloo?
Murdered Isis hostage James Foley ‘showed true humanity’ by giving up freedom for fellow captive John Cantlie
Murdered Isis hostage James Foley “showed his true humanity” when he gave up an opportunity to escape from the extremist group in an act of solidarity towards his friend John Cantlie, a fellow hostage has revealed.
A little over a month ago, private security guards working on behalf of the Dakota Access pipeline company clashed with Native Americans. They were protesting the bulldozing of land on a Standing Rock Sioux tribal burial site in southern North Dakota.
Guards sprayed protesters with pepper spray and unleashed attack dogs on the crowd – which included children – in a reprehensible example of corporate violence.
Filming the protests in North Dakota that day was a crew from Democracy Now! The show’s award-winning anchorwoman Amy Goodman conducted interviews during the protests and covered the dog attacks as they unfolded.
The show’s subsequent special report about the incident went viral, with more than 14 million people viewing it on Facebook.
The Arrest of Journalists and Filmmakers Covering the Dakota Pipeline Is a Threat to Democracy—and the Planet
n October 11, Deia Schlosberg, the producer of my new film, How to Let Go of the World and Love All the Things Climate Can’t Change, was arrested in Walhalla, North Dakota, while reporting on a climate-change protest. She was held for 48 hours before being allowed to speak to a lawyer. The authorities confiscated her footage. She is now charged with three counts of felony conspiracy and faces a possible sentence of up to 45 years. O
For being a journalist.
Deia isn’t alone. The arrest of journalists, filmmakers, and others witnessing and reporting on citizen protests against fossil-fuel infrastructure amid climate change is part of a worrisome and growing pattern. Last month in North Dakota, a warrant was issued to arrest Amy Goodman, award-winning host of Democracy Now!, after she covered Native American–led protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline. Her footage of security guards attacking peaceful protesters with bloody-snouted dogs was viewed over 14 million times. She elected to go back to North Dakota this week to face the charges. Actor Shailene Woodley was arrested and jailed this week while leaving a protest at a construction site for the Dakota Access Pipeline. She was singled out, the police told her, because she was well-known and had 40,000 people watching live on her Facebook page. Other filmmakers shooting protest actions along the pipeline have also been arrested.
22 December 2013 Who was the most successful leader in the Middle East in 2013? It is a hoary tradition of newspapers and magazines to produce end-of-year league tables listing the successful and the unsuccessful. The results are often anodyne or quirky, but in the Middle East over the past 12 months such an approach has the advantage of cutting through the complexities of half a dozen distinct but inter-related crises by focusing on winners and losers.
21 August 1998 Four days ago, as President Bill Clinton was testifying to Kenneth Starr about his relationship with Monica Lewinsky, foreign diplomats in Pakistan were told that “all foreigners” in Afghanistan were in danger. European embassy staff suspected that the United States, with the help of the Pakistani authorities, was about to assault Osama bin Laden, the Saudi dissident opposed to Washington’s continued presence in Saudi Arabia. One foreign embassy official in Islamabad told me the sources were American.
Osama bin Laden, the fiercest opponent of the Saudi regime and of America’s presence in the Gulf, has warned Britain that it must withdraw its servicemen from Saudi Arabia if it wishes to avoid the fate of the 19 Americans killed by a truck bomb in the Kingdom last month. In an interview with The Independent in a remote mountainous area of Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province – to which he has returned from Sudan with hundreds of his Arab mujahedin guerrillas – the 40-year-old Saudi dissident declared that killing the Americans marked “the beginning of war between Muslims and the United States”.
Source: Face to face with Bin Laden
We all know the problem. Any journalist or historian who has to recount atrocities is faced with the same dilemma. What do you do when an army, militia or cult is reported to have committed an outrageous crime against humanity – and has really perpetrated many outrages in the past – when you have no proof that this particular event actually occurred? Thus we read this week that “19 Yazidi girls [were] burned alive for refusing to have sex with their Isis captors”.