Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Why Do They Do It?

A few days ago, I watched the movie "Veronica Guerin" on DVD.Veronica was an Irish journalist who investigated the drug lords in Dublin during the 90s. She pushed her limits to cover that story. She faced death threats for exposing the lords in the Irish media. In 1996, she was silenced by an assassin. To their disappointment, her death resulted in an outrage and crackdown on the drug trade in Dublin. It took her death to mobilize people and the government to fight those criminals.

In one movie scene, the drug lord calls her and threatens the life of her 6-year-old son. After the phone and while shaking from the horror, she tells her husband not to tell her boss that she cried.

It was weird to hear her saying this as two days earlier, I watched an interview with Jackie Spinner, a journalist with the Washington Post, discussing the kidnapping of her friend Jill Carroll. During the interview, she told her horrifying experience after finishing an assignment at the Abu Ghraib prison. She described how she escaped a kidnapping attempt (thanks to her Iraqi colleague and the marines who were standing nearby). After being rescued from the failed kidnapping attempt and while still shaking from the experience, she asked her Iraqi colleague to tell the office that she didn't cry .

It was a weird coincidence that made me wonder why most journalists continue to work under such difficult circumstances. Both Veronica and Jackie answered the question by saying that there's a story that needs to be told. They simply do it for the love of the story.

That's exactly why Jill Carroll went to Iraq. She wanted to fulfill her dream by becoming a foreign reporter. She wanted to cover war zones. She followed her dream by packing her bags and heading to the Middle East. She knew what lay ahead of her and still did it. She did it for the love of the story. No more, no less.

The question is, would Jill's kidnapping mobilize Iraqis to fight against those criminals and their buddies? I sure hope so.

Veronica Guerin, The Movie

Tell Them I Didn't Cry

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