Jean Hood's Website

War Correspondent

Reporting Under Fire Since 1850

Hardback published  2011 by Conway

224 pages

ISBN 9781844861316

US edition published 2011 by Lyons Press



With Kate Adie at the launch of the Exhibition in May 2011


War correspondents regard war very much as a doctor regards sickness. I don't suppose that a doctor is actually glad that people are sick, but so long as sickness exists in the world he feels that he might as well get the benefit of it. It is the same with war correspondents. They do not wish anyone to be killed on their account, but so long as men are going to be killed anyway, they want to be on hand to witness the killing and, through the newspapers, to tell the world about it.

E Alexander Powell, US War Correspondent “The Fighting in Flanders”, 1915

Because of my interest in the human aspects of war, I was thrilled to be given the opportunity to write War Correspondent, to accompany the Imperial War Museum’s exhibition of the same name which ran from 28 May 2011  until 2 January, 2012 at IWM North, Salford. The book has a broader scope that the exhibition, beginning with William Russell ,who reported from the Crimea in 1854,  and embracing more of the  foreign war correspondents, primarily those from the USA,  because I wanted to create a book that would do more than simply replicate exhibition content, particularly given that some of the exhibition content consisted of video interviews and actual objects, which would not have the same impact when turned into still photographs and transcripts.

Some of the material in the book is pretty grim. If anyone thinks that there is anything romantic about being a war correspondent, please read any of the following, spanning the better part of a century between them:

Philip Gibbs: The Soul of the War

Rene Cutforth: Cry Korea

Anthony Loyd; My War Gone By, I Miss It So

Ian Stewart: Ambushed



Just after the book went to press, Tim Hetherington was killed on the front line in Misrata, Libya, a reminder, if any were needed, that being a war correspondent is a dangerous job.
22nd February 2012  - Marie Colvin of the Sunday Times  and  French photographer Remi Ochlik were killed today in Syria as the Syran forces bombarded the rebel-held town of Homs and scrored a direct hit on their house. From her report the previous evening it seemed all too possible that she would not get out alive.

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