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Two Western Journalists Killed In Syria

Ryan Faughnder |
February 22, 2012 | 8:41 a.m. PST

Executive Editor

As international pressure mounts on Syria's government to stop its violent crackdown on opposition, two esteemed Western journalist have been killed in a attack against a safe-house in Syria that left 20 people dead, according to multiple reports. 

Reporter Marie Colvin (Creative Commons)
Reporter Marie Colvin (Creative Commons)

American newspaper reporter Marie Colvin and photojournalist Remi Ochlik died when a shell hit their post in Homs, an area held by forces in opposition to the Syria government. 

Their deaths have drawn widespread outcry. The Committee to Protect Journalists, which says that several other journalists have died in the country since November, says the conflict in Syria has become increasingly dangerous to cover.  

"The killing of these journalists, who were observers in a conflict zone, represents an unacceptable escalation in the price that local and international journalists are being forced to pay," said CPJ Deputy Director Robert Mahoney in a statement posted on the group's website.

The Guardian pays tribute to Ochlik, whom it calls "one of the biggest talents of a new generation" of photojournalists:

Jean-Francois Leroy, head of Visa pour l'Image, France's big international photojournalism festival, had shown Ochlik's early work from Haiti, saying of him at the time: "Someone showed me this work on the events in Haiti. It was very beautiful, very strong. I didn't know the guy who'd done it. I asked him to come in. He's called Remi Ochlik, he's 20. He worked all alone, like a big guy. There you go. Photojournalism is not dead."

Ochlik had said of his war photography: "I expected to see horrible things. Yes, I was afraid."

Colvin has long been praised for her personal, close-up coverage of war from the from lines. Here's a excerpt from a profile of Colvin in the American Journalism Review from 2000:

These reporters routinely mix "I was there" eyewitness accounts into stories that reveal a definite point of view. Each of these journalistic techniques would be likely to send seismic tremors through the foreign desks of the Washington Post or New York Times.

For Colvin, whom some media watchers credit with taking the personal touch in war reporting to new heights, it is simply a matter of strategy, of utilizing the most powerful tools to make battles in far-off lands meaningful to readers. "It is incredibly difficult to report on events and put yourself in the story, even when it is relevant," says the war correspondent, who often finds herself the lone journalist in some of the world's most dangerous places. 

Colvin's recent article in the Sunday Times highlighted the sense of danger in reporting from the war-torn region.

In a meeting Friday in Tunisia, international leaders will meet to put pressure on Syrian president Bashar al-Assad to put an end to the violence, according to CNN.

Watch Colvin's recent report from Syria:

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