Special Program: Fallen Journalists Honored at Newseum
Guest: Richard Engel, keynote speaker
By Sharon Shahid and Dinah Douglas
WASHINGTON — The names of 82 journalists who died covering the news in 2012 were added to the Newseum's Journalists Memorial in a solemn ceremony held May 13 in the Journalists Memorial Gallery.
Six additional journalists who died in previous years and were brought to the Newseum's attention in 2012 were also recognized. Their names have been added to a separate panel in the memorial, and their stories are included in the interactive kiosks in the gallery.
"We are being killed off," said keynote speaker Richard Engel.
In December 2012 Engel, chief foreign correspondent for NBC News, was kidnapped and held captive for five days in Syria, along with several members of his production crew. They endured psychological torture and mock executions before they were released. Engel said he feared his name would be added to the list of fallen journalists honored on the memorial.
Engel fondly remembered colleagues Marie Colvin and Anthony Shadid, who both died covering the conflict in Syria. Colvin was an American journalist who reported for The Sunday Times of London. She was killed when Syrian armed forces shelled the unofficial press center in Homs.
Engel said he was on his way to the safe house where Colvin and freelance photographer Remi Ochlik were located when he received the news that it had been bombed and the journalists were killed.
Shadid, a foreign correspondent for The New York Times, was reporting on the opposition to the regime of President Bashar Assad when he suffered an asthma attack and died. He was a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner for international reporting.
Syria, Engel said, "has been a horrible experience for the world."
Engel was one of the only Western journalists to cover the entire war in Iraq. He also covered the Arab Spring uprising in Egypt in 2010 and the ongoing conflict in Libya.
"These are greedy wars," he said. "They take, and they certainly give nothing back."
Journalists take risks, Engel said, "to understand the world and how it changes. We go to where the cracks are." The honored journalists died "doing what they loved. They died in the line of duty with their boots on and their pen in hand."
With this year's addition of 88 names from 2012 and previous years, the memorial will honor a total of 2,244 reporters, photographers, broadcasters and news executives from around the world, dating back to 1837.
We are grateful to the following organizations for participating in the campaign by publishing one of the free PSA ads on or around May 13.
- The Baltimore Sun
- CBS DC Radio
- Chicago Reader
- The Fairfax Times
- The Hill
- Houston Chronicle
- The New York Times
- OBOne Productions
- Reporters Without Borders
- Romanian Professional Journalists Association
- Transatlantic Press Club
- USA Today
- Voice of America
- Washington City Paper
- Washington Suburban Press Network
- Washingtonian Magazine
- WPGC 95.5 FM
- WTOP 103.5 FM
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