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Journalists, Syria and 'shooting the messenger'

Syria violenceWhen the international non-profit organization Reporters Without Borders recently listed the 10 most dangerous places for journalists in the world, Syria made the cut.

 Since then, it's only gotten worse.  Last week, when American-born reporter Marie Colvin died in a rocket attack in Homs (Syria's third-largest city, one that is about three times the size of Buffalo), along with French photojournalist Remi Ochlik, the focus on those dangers sharpened.  

In this interview with the Daily Beast, Joel Simon, executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists, describes the problem.

Here is NPR's interview with Jon Lee Anderson, the New Yorker reporter whose long, insightful story about Syria, "The Implosion, appeared in the Feb. 27th issue of the magazine.

And The Observer in Britain offers this thoughtful analysis of why journalists are so threatening to the  Assad regime.

This Washington Post story poses the uncomfortable choice that large media organizations are grappling with: "Send reporters into the war zones at an almost-impossible risk level or stay on the margins and try to get the story indirectly."  (The story also offers a video of Marie Colvin's mother, a Long Island resident, talking about her daughter's dedication to her hazardous craft.)

In a country that may well be on the brink of civil war, where civilians are dying daily at the hands of a brutal regime, neither choice is acceptable.

 This editorial from the New York Times gives an overview of the horrors of Syria, and some direction for a Western world that, so far, is just standing by watching.

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(Photo of Syrian child, with a message clearly intended for Western media, from Australian news site, SkyNews.com)

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