By Elaine Hargrove-Simon, Silha Fellow and Bulletin Editor
Fifteen journalists have died in the war with Iraq. Five of them died
as a result of friendly fire from Coalition forces; four died in car accidents;
two were victims of enemy fire; one died after stepping on a landmine;
one died in a suicide bombing; one died from a pulmonary embolism; and
one died under accidental circumstances.
Paul Moran, died March 22, 2003. A freelance cameraman working for Australia's ABC News, Moran was killed when a suicide bomber detonated a car at a checkpoint in northeastern Iraq. Eric Campbell, another Australian journalist, was injured in the incident.
Terry Lloyd, died March 22, 2003. A veteran news correspondent for ITV, Lloyd was killed by friendly fire while driving to Basra in southern Iraq. He had been traveling in a marked press car outside Basra when it came under friendly fire from Coalition forces. ITN reported that Lloyd was the first correspondent killed in the news organization's 48-year history, as well as being its longest-serving reporter, having been with the organization for 20 years.
Gaby Rado, date of death unconfirmed. A Channel 4 News (Great Britain) journalist, Rado was found dead on March 30 in the parking lot outside the Abu Sanaa hotel where he had been staying in Sulaymaniyah in northern Iraq. In a press release from Britain's ITN network, the producer of Channel 4 News stated that it did not appear that Rado's death was related to any military action. There was speculation that Rado fell from the hotel roof. Hotel staff stated that Rado had asked them directions to the roof after checking into the hotel. Another witness reportedly had seen him walking alone on the roof the evening before his body was discovered.
Kaveh Golestan, died April 2, 2003. An Iranian freelance cameraman working for the BBC, Golestan was killed in the town of Kifrey when he stepped on a landmine while leaving his car. Three other journalists traveling with him also suffered injuries in the incident. Golestan had worked for the BBC for three years. He had previously worked for Associated Press Television News and Time magazine. He had been acclaimed for his 1988 coverage of Iraq's gassing of 5,000 people in the Kurdish town of
Halabja. Michael Kelly, died April 4, 2003. An editor-at-large of the Atlantic
Monthly and a Washington Post columnist, Kelly was killed when the Humvee in which he was riding plunged into a canal while trying to escape Iraqi fire. He was traveling with the U.S. Army's 3rd Infantry Division at the time of the accident. Kelly had previously been the editor of the New Republic and the National Journal. Earlier in his career he had been a reporter for the Cincinnati Post, the Baltimore Sun, the New York Times and had written for the New Yorker. He had also worked as a freelance magazine journalist during the Gulf War and gathered his writing into a book, Martyr's Day.
He was the first of 600 embedded reporters killed in the war with Iraq.
David Bloom, died April 5, 2003. A reporter with NBC News, Bloom died of a pulmonary embolism while embedded with the U.S. 3rd Army Infantry Division. Known for developing a "jiggle-free" video by using a gyrostabilized camera, Bloom frequently broadcast live from a specially adapted M-88 tank retriever that was nicknamed the "Bloommobile" while traveling with U.S. troops as they moved north toward Baghdad. Riding in the vehicle may have contributed to his death, because it required him to keep his knees bent, a position that can lead to the formation of blood clots. He had been packing his gear when he collapsed. He was airlifted to a field medical unit where he was pronounced dead. Bloom had joined NBC in 1993 and served as a White House correspondent in 1997. He covered presidential races, the O.J. Simpson trial, the Washington-area sniper shooting, and the September 11 attacks on the United States. He was also co-host of the "Weekend Today" show on NBC.
Kamaran Abdurazaq Muhamed, died April 6, 2003. A translator with the BBC, Muhamed was killed as a result of friendly fire when a U.S. warplane dropped a bomb on a convoy of Kurdish soldiers. Two other journalists, John Simpson, a veteran correspondent, and Tom Giles, a producer, both with BBC, were wounded in the incident.
Julio Anguita Parrado, died April 7, 2003. A reporter for the Spanish newspaper El Mundo, Parrado was killed in an Iraqi missile attack. Parrado had been embedded with the U.S. Army's 3rd Infantry Division.
Christian Liebig, died April 7, 2003. A journalist for German Focus magazine, Liebig was killed along with Parrado in an Iraqi missile attack. Like Parrado, Liebig was embedded with the U.S. Army's 3rd Infantry Division.
Jose Couso, died April 8, 2003. A cameraman with Spain's Telecinco, Couso was killed when a U.S. tank fired on the Palestine Hotel where he and other international journalists were staying. Reportedly, the tank fired on the hotel after Iraqi fighters located in bunkers at the front of the hotel fired first, using AK-47s and rocket-propelled grenades.
As dozens of journalists stood watching from the hotel's balconies, the tank returned fire, hitting the hotel's fourteenth and fifteenth floors. Lt. Col. Philip DeCamp, commander of the tank unit, apologized for the incident, saying "I'm sorry to say it, but I'm the guy who killed the journalists. . . . I feel sorry for [the journalists'] families, but I had no choice. My soldiers' lives were in danger." When U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell appeared at a news conference in Madrid, some members of the television crews present wore T-shirts imprinted with Couso's likeness and the word "murdered." Powell has said that there will be an investigation into the incident. (See "U.S. Military Fires on Journalists' Hotel" in this issue of the Silha Bulletin.)
Taras Protsyuk, died April 8, 2003. A Reuters cameraman from Ukraine, Protsyuk was killed in the same incident as Couso.
Tereq Ayyoub, died April 8, 2003. A Jordanian cameraman with Al Jazeera, Ayyoub was killed when U.S. air strikes hit Al-Jazeera's Baghdad office.
Mario Podesta, died April 14, 2003. A free-lance journalist and veteran war correspondent who worked for Argentina's America TV, Podesta was killed in a car accident. He had been traveling with a convoy on its way from Amman, Jordan, to Baghdad when gunshots were heard near Ramadi, 60 miles from Baghdad. Trying to avoid what he perceived as an attack, the driver of the car lost control when a tire exploded, causing the car to roll several times. Podesta was killed instantaneously.
Veronica Cabrera, died April 15, 2003. A camerawoman working for Argentina's America TV, Cabrera was killed as a result of the same accident as Podesta, although she died in a Baghdad hospital the following day. She was the first female journalist to die in Iraq.
Elizabeth Neuffer, died May 9, 2003. A reporter for the Boston Globe, Neuffer was killed in a car accident when the driver of her car hit a guardrail while returning from Baghdad to Takrit. An award-winning journalist known for her work in promoting human rights and bringing war criminals to justice, Neuffer had received the 1997 Novartis Prize for Excellence in International Journalism from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, a 1998 Courage in Journalism Award from
the International Women's Media Foundation, and an Edward R. Murrow Fellowship from the Council on Foreign Relations. She was the author of a book, "The Key to My Neighbor's House: Seeking Justice in Bosnia and Rwanda," published in 2001. While working in Bosnia, she was credited with finding indicted war criminals. Matthew V. Storin, editor of the Boston Globe at the time of the war in Bosnia, was quoted as saying that "[Neuffer] knew how to be good with military. She knew how to deal with refugees. It's rare to be good with either. To be good with both is very unusual."
(Information for this article was taken from the (London) Guardian, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the Boston
Globe, the Associated Press; as well as from the Web sites of the Freedom Forum, Editor and Publisher, the Committee to Protect Journalists, and ITV and BBC television.)