Marie Colvin held a profound belief in the pursuit of truth, and the courage and humanity of her work that I deeply admired, here is a brief portrait story about her great career
In a career spanning 30 years, often name has “the pirate”, Marie Colvin reported from the frontlines of war zone around the world for the British new paper, Sunday Times.
She was committed to reporting on the realities of war…especially the effects on civilians.
Colvin was known for her strong personality and through her bravery, tenacity, skill and compassion, sometimes did more than merely write!
Marie was born and raised in Oyster Bay, New York, the January 12, 1956.
She studied at Yale before switching to major in English literature while working on the university’s paper.
It’s when she get hooked on journalism.
After a year on a trade paper, she was hired by the international news agency UPI.
She work in New York, Washington and in France to become the Paris bureau chief.
It was a grand name for a one-woman band.
She get opportunity to cover the Middle East and she soon became fascinated by the region’s culture, politics and conflicts.
Marie became the paper’s foreign affairs correspondent of the Sunday times in 1995.
Marie covered the Middle East for more than 20 years and reported from East Timor, Chechnya, Kosovo and Sri Lanka and Syria.
In 2001, Marie was covering the conflict between government forces and the rebel Tamil Tigers, in Sri Lanka.
After walking 30 miles through the wild jungle with her Tamil guide to evade government troops, Marie was struck by shrapnel and lost her left eye…
She wore a black eye-patch, which became something of a trademark.
her new eye-patch only reinforced Colvin’s sense of humour and selfless conviction.That was why, between journalist they friendly called her “the pirate”.
After losing her eye covering the conflict in Sri Lanka, Marie had to get in front of the memory left of this last event and fallen into a depression which nearly caused her to give up war reporting.
At this moment of distress she wrote of the importance of telling people what really happens and about,
"My job is to bear witness. I have never been interested in knowing what make of plane had just bombed a village or whether the artillery that fired at it was 120mm or 155mm." - Marie Colvin
“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.” -M.Colvin
She wrote about people so that others might understand the truth.
This was her needed, to transmit the reality of life in the dangerous and inaccessible places.
The Arab spring, bring her back and covered from Egypt to Libya and Syria.
(“Marie was much more than journalist, in 1999, in east Timor, she was credited with saving the lives of 1,500 women and children who were besieged in a compound by Indonesian-backed forces.
She refused to leave them, waving goodbye to 22 journalist colleagues as she stayed on with an unarmed UN force in order to help highlight their plight by reporting to the world, in her paper and on global television.
The publicity was rewarded when they were evacuated to safety after four tense days.
This was the essence of Marie’s approach to reporting.
She was not interested in the politics, strategy or weaponry; only the effects on the people she regarded as innocents.
"These are people who have no voice," she said.
"I feel I have a moral responsibility towards them, that it would be cowardly to ignore them. If journalists have a chance to save their lives, they should do so.” - Marie Colvin - extrait of the guardian
“Bravery is not being afraid to be afraid.”- M.Colvin
She received many awards and honours during her career, including the Courage in Journalism Award, the British Press Award and Foreign Press International Journal of the Year Award, and so much more…
Marie Colvin was the greatest war correspondent of her generation.
Her strong personality and her courage, make difference in some others life forgetting beyond conflict.
Writing to the world, the voices of people trapped in war for opening eyes of our society.
Until this tragic day …. February 22, 2012, in the Baba Arm area southwest of Homs, Syria.
This inaccessible place, most terrifying.
Surrounded by her companions, Paul Conroy (British war reporter) and Remi Ochlik (French war journalist photographer), Marie reported on the unbearable situation of the inhabitants who violate their destiny, every moment, in the face of the bombing.
An extreme situation she says she has never seen.
Refugee in a building used as a media base, where she counted his last report.
Maggie O’Kane writes:
“ the night of 21 February, the ITV news report from Homs had the voice of a calm, even-paced American journalist. It was a brief clip of Marie Colvin, maybe 30 seconds, in the middle of the world’s most dangerous live war zone: “The Syrians are not allowing civilians to leave… anyone who gets on the street is hit by a shell. If they are not hit by a shell they are hit by snipers. There are snipers all around on the high buildings. I think the sickening thing is the complete merciless nature. They are hitting the civilian buildings absolutely mercilessly and without caring and the scale of it is just shocking.”
She wrote and produced a great documentaries, including Arafat: Behind the Myth for the BBC in 1990,
She featured in the 2005 documentary film Bearing Witness with four other female war reporters.
The disturbing truth, the base became target.
An hour later, the building was bombed, flying lives and dust, taking with it Marie Colvin and Rémi Ochlik.
Paul Conroy survived of the explosion after more than 14 operations.
Still today, the number of journalist and civilians of war murdered are uncountable.
the survival of paul makes him tell this event.
In pursuit of the true story that killed it, but it is also the one that gave it life.
In honor of Marie Colvin and her dedication, here are some books and films really nice to see and share …
Movies to see:
“A Private War”, a 2018 biographical film about Colvin starring
“Girls of the Sun”, a 2018 French film with the main protagonist inspired by Marie Colvin
Books to read:
The Life and Death of the War Correspondent Marie Colvin”
_ by Lindsey Hilsum (A New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice).
Under the Wire:
Marie Colvin’s Final Assignment_by Paul Conroy (war photographer worked with Marie Colvin)
On the Front Line:
The Collected Journalism of Marie Colvin_by Marie Colvin (this is a collection of her finest work)
Chasing the story is what killed her, but it was also what had given her life.