British Photojournalist Paul Conroy Vividly Remembers "Marie Colvin's Final Assignment"
On this edition of ST, we speak by phone with Paul Conroy, a former British soldier who's worked as a photographer and filmmaker for more than a dozen years, and who's reported as a photojournalist on conflicts in Iraq, Congo, Kosovo, Libya, and Syria. Conroy talks about about his new book, "Under the Wire: Marie Colvin's Final Assignment," which London's Sunday Times has called "a fine and gripping account of how the brave, rackety band of war reporters and photographers bring the human consequences of war to our breakfast tables." This book was thus summarized by Booklist: "In February 2012, American foreign-war correspondent Marie Colvin was killed by artillery fire in Syria. Her death, along with that of French photographer Rémi Ochlik, became international news as officials wrangled over retrieving their bodies and struggled to evacuate other journalists injured in the attack. Conroy, Colvin's photographer, was with her and was nearly killed as well. In this tense, hour-by-hour account, he takes readers back to Syria and the events that led to their being behind the battle lines. He also recalls an earlier assignment with Colvin in Libya, providing insight into the stress war correspondents live under in their quest for truth. Conroy pulls no punches, but he clearly admired Colvin and it's easy to understand why. Her relentless determination to document the suffering of civilians trapped within wars they cannot control is the stuff of legend. 'We can help,' she explains at one point, 'we can show the world; we can bear witness.' Colvin was a significant voice in international journalism and will be sorely missed, and Conroy's account is unforgettable."