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With gossip and insignificant events often dominating today's news, we tend to forget the important role reporters can play in society. Anthony Collings, who worked for many years in print and television, demonstrates how journalism should rise above trivial pursuits and can influence what happens in the world. -- Christopher Harper,Roy H. Park Distinguished Professor, Ithaca College; Producer, ABC's 20/20; Bureau Chief, ABC News, Rome and Cairo; Bureau Chief, Newsweek; Beirut Correspondent, Newsweek, Washington, and Chicago Journalism shorn of alleged glamour is seriously hard and, too many times, deadly work. Collings documents thiswell. -- Bernard Shaw,Former CNN Principal Anchor Tony Collings has performed an invaluable service for brave and determined journalists all over the world with his extraordinarily comprehensive compendium of the threats and dangers they face in doing the kind of accountability reporting we take for granted in the free press of the United States. Those dangers, and many, too many, deaths, are all too real; the light that Tony shines on them should spur efforts like those of the Committee to Protect Journalists to help our brave brothers and sisters safely do the jobs to which they have selflessly dedicated themselves. -- Leonard Downie Jr.,Executive Editor, the Washington Post An absorbing, rich rendition of courageous journalism in places where a free press is not taken for granted. Journalists die every day, at the hands of dictators, drug lords and terrorists. Tony Collings knows their business and tells their stories with a style that keeps the pages turning. -- Ken Bode,Dean of the Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University, and Former Moderator, PBS's "Washington Week in Review" Words of Fire is a breathtaking story of courageous journalists who dare to dare. It is humbling, terrifying and exhilarating. It is a celebration of the freedom to speak and the durability of the human spirit. -- Howard Bossen,Professor and Assistant Director, School of Journalism, Michigan State UniversityReseña del editor:
If journalism is the first draft of history, then independent journalists are surely its most daring composers.
Along such celebrated and high-profile figures as Christiane Amanpour and Wolf Blitzer, there exists a stratum of journalistsself-employed, working under dire conditions, and with minimal resourceswho often place themselves at ground zero of world events. In this gripping account, Anthony Collings takes us into the world of independent journalists, and the daily challenges they face confronting dictators, hostile military, and narcoterrorists. Unfettered by any ties to those in positions of power, these guerrilla journalists are often the first on a storywhether reporting on corruption in Mexico, organized crime in Russia, or sexual scandal in the Middle Eastand accordingly face the brunt of their subject's wrath.
Collings, who has himself been held captive while on assignment, here focuses less on those nations in which the press is either largely free (such as the U.S. or Western European democracies) or aggressively restricted (as in China), and more on those "battleground countries" where the eventual outcome of the struggle between state and fourth estate remains unclear. Relying on interviews, professional contacts, and his own experiences, Collings explores the dilemmas and strategies of journalists who persevere in the face of war, repressive governments, and criminal aggression, with particular emphasis on the role of the Internet.
At a time when journalism is increasingly a profession under siege, Words of Fire forces into the spotlight a more positive side of the profession, those who pursue journalism not for profit or fame but as a personal crusade.
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