Marie Colvin highlighted the terrible risks faced by journalists reporting from Afghanistan this week when she recounted the story of Joao Silva, the New York Times photojournalist who stepped on a mine whilst out on patrol with US soldiers on 23 October.
Friends of Joao have set up a website which showcases his work and enables people to buy prints or make a donation to help support him and his family through his rehabilitation. He lost both his legs in the explosion.
The site notes that Silva made his name while covering the violent beginnings of a democratic South Africa. He was a member of the Bang-Bang Club, a group of photographers who documented the Hostel War during the last days of Apartheid.
It also quotes executive editor of the New York Times Bill Keller: “Those of you who know JoÃ£o will not be surprised to learn that throughout this ordeal he continued to shoot pictures.”
Colvin was speaking at the St Bride’s, Fleet Street, service for 49 journalists and media workers killed reporting on war for British news consumers in the last decade.
The story of Joao Silva highlights the fact that, as with the military casualties, there are many more journalists and media workers in addition to the 49 who have sustained terrible injuries because of land mines and IEDs.
Daily Mirror photographer Philip Coburn also lost both his legs below the knee after being injured in the explosion which killed his Mirror colleague Rupert Hamer while the pair were embedded with the US military in Afghanistan earlier this year.