Reporters At War was a three-part (four in the US and elsewhere) Emmy and Broadcasting Press Guild award-winning series I originated and produced with True Vision that took a long hard look at one of the most dramatic and dangerous careers of modern times, that of the war correspondent.
More than 300 journalists were killed in battle zones in the dozen years before Reporters At War was produced in 2003, some 200 of these having been deliberately targeted by their killers. The War in Iraq, which had just began when the series was commissioned by Discovery UK in April, had an initial rate of attrition – 15 journalists dead (plus 2 missing) in the opening 26 days – that was the highest ever. Though 63 died in the Vietnam between 1963-1975, at the above rate around 4,500 journalists would have died if the Iraq conflict lasted as long as the Vietnam War.
Then there’s the psychological trauma of witnessing the brutality of war close-up, constantly, day in, day out, over long agonising periods of time. No wonder nervous breakdowns, marital break-ups, alcoholism, etc affect war correspondents to a degree never experienced by most ordinary folk.