Many said that Caesar was a general but that was not all, as in the War Correspondent doc it states… He was one of the best reporters as well. The document then zips along with the first war correspondents William Howard Russell, hired by Edwin Lawrence Godkin of the London Times. Russell’s actions were so heroic and brave that a mere human could not do so without shivering in fear. Then there’s the Bayeux Tapestry’s stitchings depicting a battle that took place, The Battle of Hastings in 1066, where the Anglo-Saxons and the Normans went to war. Now most correspondents might coward away but not that of Thutmose lll commander of the Egyptians, and his trusty scribe Tjaneni, who kept a journal detailing the engagement as he stuck with him everywhere the Pharoah went (1400 BC). Tjaneni was also the boss proto war correspondent as he was as original as a Trojan horse. But my favorite correspondent by far was Robert Capa: “Perhaps the best known of all World War II combat photographers, the Hungarian-born Capa had made a name for himself well before climbing into a landing craft with men of Company E in the early morning hours of D-Day” (the War Correspondent doc). He took seven stellar photos of D-Day and… many other battles, leaving me awestruck at how he survived for so long (he met his Maker on the battlefield in East Asia, sadly a few years later). In my opinion he is a true hero, not one of the fake heroes like let’s say, Justin ‘the Biebs’ Bieber.
Mark Kellogg, a Western free-lance newspaper reporter, set out to tell us what happened on the morning of June 26, 1876, on a hill at Little Bighorn in Montana. “By the time this reaches you we will have met and fought the red devils with what result remains to be seen.’” He seems to me like a very dastardly man of some sort as he is very against the Red Devils which is messed up that he even calls them that. I know I am jumping around a lot so I will just focus back on one of my favorite depictions in this story: D-DAY! Well, I should put an exclamation point as it is an amazing topic. It was 1944, WWll, and Allies are going to invade Normandy, France to rid the land of the Nazis, and I thought that we would never get to see this amazing historical moment of grit and passion. Then all of a sudden BANG! in comes Capa to take some pics of this amazing historical moment and the pictures are absolutely stunning.
The war correspondent had rules and standards to achieve, of course: “The birth and maturation of the unarmed professional war correspondent had four midwives: Democracy, Time, Scale, and Speed”. Without these fundamentals, and most importantly, “… democracy, nurtured by nearly universal suffrage and popular education, meant governments had more and more to justify the blood, tears, toil and sweat of going to war”. The war correspondent has to be able to communicate to someone with not only authority but with a citizen’s obligation to the truth. Time (not thyme) is everything for war correspondents. Personally, I am terrible with time management. But not these people – they can do things like showing up right on the dot and not have a single worry for being late. Scale is pretty explanatory. The bigger the battle, the more correspondents. Again, the first legit war correspondent (paid to write in war theatre) was Billy Russell, the first to be hired exclusively for this position (by Lawrence Godkin of the London Times). Can you remember that? And finally, Speed. A correspondent must be quick to get information and to relay it back, and because of the modern era, we had telegraph, then telephone, then TV etc.
The reason for all of this jumping around and talking about these things are because these things highlight the attributes and the unique qualities that war correspondents have brought to us. If not for them, then the information and our even lives might not have been here today. For isn’t the non-fighting population largely responsible for ending wars? Forget about only the military general’s saying haughtily, I was on the very front lines. As the war correspondent, in my opinion is the most dangerous and the most nerve-wracking job even known as they are very literally in the front lines. They have faced more dangers in a day than we could do in our lifetime so I really think that they are the true heroes of wartime not someone who boasts about being on the front lines. They can do anything from reporting like William Howard Russell to attacking as well like Julius Caesar. Capa could have died on that battlefield while taking those pictures of D-Day. Do you have what it takes to be a war correspondent? Btw, he did die at age 40, while reporting from the French Indo-China War. Rest in Peace.