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Chris Hondros and Tim Hetherington - Thank you

© EPA/Getty Images

© Matt Stuart

Yesterdays news that photojournalists Chris Hondros and Tim Hetherington were killed while covering the conflict in Libya was devastating.  This story is receiving exceptional media coverage thanks in part to Hetherington’s Oscar nominated film Restrepo, which the public would recognize more so than his outstanding body of work prior to the film’s recent success. This news disturbs me on many levels. Two incredibly talented, caring and smart men died while doing a job that they loved and cared deeply about doing justice for. I can’t confirm this but my gut tells me that to the public, war photographers are all about being part of the action. Sure, they recognize the dangers that these photographers take and are often taken aback by the images they capture but rarely do they get to understand a deeper reasoning behind what the photographers are doing. The many photojournalists I have met are all deeply humanitarian. The care they have for their subjects is matched in greatness only by the care in which they do that subject justice through their photography. To hear Tim speak about why he made his book Infidel brings the insanity of war that much closer to those of us who are not as brave as the soldiers or journalists fighting and covering these wars. Both Tim and Chris were exceptionally talented people who captured not only powerful images but also created beautiful and haunting stories that reflected the true nature of us. This is humanity. 

© Chris Hondros

Diary (2010) from Tim Hetherington on Vimeo.


I can’t recall the last time I saw a story in a Canadian publication that was more than just daily fodder for the media’s desire to show the here and now of war. If they care so much about these journalists then why isn’t the public seeing more of their images? Where are these stories that people are dying trying to cover? And I guess this is where some of my frustration lies. The public should not just have known Tim Hetherington because of his movie. Yes, it was great (and I urge all who have not seen it to do so) but the public should have known Tim Hetherington AND Chris Hondros for the stories they should have been seeing. (as an aside CBC this morning didn’t even mention Chris’ name until their long winded bit about Restrepo)  Publishers and editors alike should be doing more to allow the public to see this work. Money should be being invested in these types of stories over the fluff that the public is currently being force fed. 

To date this year 16 journalists have been killed in the line of duty. Let’s start to do them justice by allowing the public to see more of what they are dying for. 

Names of Journalists killed in 2011 so far.

Chris Hondros, Freelance - April 20, 2011, in Misurata, Libya

Tim Hetherington, Freelance -  April 20, 2011, in Misurata, Libya

Karim Fakhrawi, Al-Wasat - April 12, 2011, in Manama, Bahrain

Zakariya Rashid Hassan al-Ashiri, Al-Dair - April 9, 2011, in Al-Dair, Bahrain

Sabah al-Bazi, Al-Arabiya - March 29, 2011, in Tikrit, Iraq

Muammar Khadir Abdelwahad, Al-Ayn - March 29, 2011, in Tikrit, Iraq

Luis Emanuel Ruiz Carrillo, La Prensa - March 25, 2011, in Monterrey, Mexico

Mohammed al-Nabbous, Libya Al-Hurra TV - March 19, 2011, in Benghazi, Libya

Jamal al-Sharaabi, Al-Masdar - March 18, 2011, in Sana’a, Yemen

Ali Hassan al-Jaber, Al-Jazeera - March 13, 2011, in an area near Benghazi, Libya

Mohamed al-Hamdani, Al-Itijah - February 24, 2011, in Ramadi, Iraq

Ahmad Mohamed Mahmoud, Al-Ta'awun - February 4, 2011, in Cairo, Egypt

 Le Hoang Hung, Nguoi Lao Dong - January 30, 2011, in Tan An, Vietnam

Gerardo Ortega, DWAR - January 24, 2011, in Puerto Princesa City, Philippines

Lucas Mebrouk Dolega, European Pressphoto Agency - January 17, 2011, in Tunis, Tunisia

Wali Khan Babar, Geo TV - January 13, 2011, in Karachi, Pakistan

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