Sunday, February 19, 2012

The loss of NYTimes Middle East reporter Anthony Shadid

I didn't know him (my husband did), but I can't write this without weeping.

I am so sick of people who cast all reporters as sleazy. I can't even watch Downton Abbey or read Harry Potter without running into some assholish journalist.

As I posted on my Facebook page and told my son when Rita Skeeter arrived at Hogwarts: Journalists are heroes.

Now, we've lost a really good one.

More here from The Globe, where Shadid worked for a bit:


Martin Baron, editor of the Globe, said news of Mr. Shadid’s death made him think “of the important stories that won’t be told because Anthony won’t be here to tell them with his trademark sensitivity, passion, and insight.

“His loss is personal to so many of his colleagues, but it also brings into sharp relief what we all lose when an outstanding journalist is taken so early in life,’’ Baron said. “His tragic death makes a statement about the importance of serious, substantive, and artfully crafted journalism in an era when superficiality and snark seem to be in ascendance.’’

From his Globe editor, Jim Smith:

The bullet went in one shoulder, tumbled a half-inch from his spine and out the other shoulder. He had 12 dangerous shrapnel fragments embedded in him. By the time I met him in Washington when he was able to return home a couple of weeks later, he was still in much pain.

But he was already back at work. With his arm in a sling, Anthony wrote a gut-wrenching account of what he had seen in Ramallah. His 5,300-word piece in the Boston Globe Magazine ran on May 12, 2002 — just six weeks after he was shot — full of lyrical accounts of the Palestinians he encountered. He wrote sparingly about his own injury, devoting only enough space to it to explain what it said about life in the West Bank.

That article foreshadowed the quality of work that would distinguish Anthony’s next decade of extraordinary reportage, from Lebanon to Egypt to Libya to his final reporting trip in Syria that ended with his death yesterday at the age of 43.

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