The Newseum in Washington, DC has a special memorial for all journalists and photojournalists killed in the line of duty. While some of these deaths, like Daniel Pearl’s, are well known, the majority of these courageous individuals don’t receive the recognition they deserve. These courageous men and women risk their lives to show the world what is happening in conflict zones, and many of them pay the ultimate price.
Sadly, it appears that a few more names will be added to the memorial. Tim Hetherington, director of the acclaimed war documentary “Restrepo,” was killed yesterday in Libya, along with photojournalist Chris Hondros. They join Mohammed al-Nabbous and Ali Hassan al-Jaber, two other members of the journalism community who have been killed while reporting on the Libyan conflict.
An active and free press is the hall mark of a free society, and we are indebted to those who risk life and limb to share information and truth with the world. Our country has a day honoring soldiers who gave their lives in service of this country, and I don’t think it’s too much to ask that the same level of respect be given to men like Tim, Chris, Mohammed, and Ali, who paid the ultimate price for their service to the world. Afterall, a free press isn’t free.