Sunday, January 10, 2010

Journalist killed

The BBC reports that Sunday Mirror journalist Rupert Hamer, 39, has been killed in an explosion in Afghanistan, along with a US marine and an Afghan soldier. His colleague, photographer Philip Coburn, 43, is in a serious but stable condition.

In August last year, we wrote: "We need to remind ourselves occasionally that, while it is very easy to deride the efforts of journalists, those who are embedded with troops in the field do take very real risks."

Hamer was very much one of the better journalists – it was he who accompanied the Brigade Reconnaissance Force in the push to recover Musa Qala in December 2007. He has paid the price for bringing us the news.

His death, of course, is no more or less tragic than those of the soldiers who were killed alongside him, the many more who have already been killed and those who are yet to die. But it does indeed remind us that gathering the news is not without its price, and we should be grateful that there are men and women still who are prepared to take the risks on our behalf.