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Wednesday, July 12, 2023

'Being a witness to history'


“It's a journalist's job to be a witness to history. We're not there to worry about ourselves. We're there to try and get as near as we can, in an imperfect world, to the truth and get the truth out.” Robert Fisk
Born on this date in 1939, Fisk grew up in the rural environs of England but became a reporter of the world serving 40 years as the Middle East correspondent for various media - but primarily for The Independent.  Fisk, who died in 2020, most often lived and worked in Beirut, intermittently one of the “hottest” of the Middle East hotspots.
His reporting earned him accolades from world leaders, the public, and his fellow journalists and he was voted British International Journalist of the Year seven times.   He also earned more British and international journalism awards than any other foreign correspondent and published a number of books based on many of the wars and armed conflicts he covered. 
"I think it is the duty of a foreign correspondent to be neutral and unbiased on the side of those who suffer, whoever they may be," he said.  Despite his reporting successes, covering war and people’s suffering took a toll on Fisk's own well-being.                           
“I'm not sure whether I've been happy,” he noted near the end of his life. “After my last book tour, I sat on my balcony with a cup of tea. I thought: 'You can't rewind the movie. I've spent more than half my life in the Middle East. There have been great moments, of course, but also great moments of horror, depression and loneliness.'”

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