War reporting documentary wins prestigious Peabody Award
A documentary about the dangers journalists face in war zones has won the prestigious Peabody Award.
Toronto filmmaker Martyn Burke's Under Fire: Journalists in Combat examines how reporting on war has becoming increasingly dangerous over the last 10 to 15 years. Renowned psychiatrist Dr. Anthony Feinstein who treats journalists suffering from the stress of war reporting also worked with Burke. The CBC commissioned the documentary.
Among those interviewed was The Toronto Star's veteran war reporter Paul Watson who talks about the guilt he felt over his photograph of an American soldier's body being dragged through the streets of Mogadishu, Somalia in 1993 which won him a Pulitzer prize.
The Star's national security reporter and author Michelle Shephard who has spent years reporting from conflict zones including Yemen, Somalia and Kenya was an associate producer.
The Peabodys celebrate some of the world's best journalism and winners were announced on Wednesday at the University of Georgia’s journalism school.
Burke told the CBC: "In some of them (journalists), not all, but some, there is just this level of submerged trauma that just kind of bubbles up. The second thing that surprised me is that in amongst all these people, there's a residual humanity [despite] all the depravity and killing they've seen. I actually liken it to flowers coming out of concrete. You can't keep that humanity down."
Hamida Ghafour is a foreign affairs reporter at the Star. She has lived and worked in the Middle East and Asia for more than 10 years and is author of a book on Afghanistan. Follow her on Twitter @HamidaGhafour