Journalists Marie Colvin and Remi Ochlik were killed in a mortar strike in Homs, Syria, on Wednesday morning, according to Syrian activists and a French government spokeswoman. Colvin was a renowned foreign correspondent from Britain’s Sunday Times newspaper, and Ochlik was an award-winning photographer from France.
Colvin appeared on a BBC broadcast Tuesday, describing the bloodshed in Syria as “absolutely sickening.”
“I watched a little baby die today. Absolutely horrific. There is just shells, rockets and tank fire pouring into civilian areas of this city and it is just unrelenting.”
Listen to her video report:
In a report with Anderson Cooper on Tuesday, speaking about showing images of the child dying on Western television, she emphasized the need for her reports to be shown, so that people “think what is going on and why is no one stopping this murder that is happening every day.”
When Cooper said the Syrian government claimed they were not targeting residents, she countered, “The top floor of the building I’m in has been hit ... It’s a complete and utter lie that they are only going after terrorists.”
Colvin last updated her Facebook page on Feb. 17, writing: “Shocked by the news of the death of Anthony Shadid, a brilliant journalist and writer whose work glowed with his humanity.”
Shadid, a New York Times reporter, died in Syria from an asthma attack last week.
Another U.S.-based journalist, James Scott Linville, commented under Colvin’s update Wednesday morning: “I had the same thought... and just now I'm having it again. Too sad.”
Colvin, who wore a distinctive eye patch after she was wounded by shrapnel in Sri Lanka a decade ago, had covered numerous conflicts over the last 30 years. She was voted Foreign Correspondent of the Year in the 2010 British Press Awards. That year, she spoke publicly about the dangers of reporting from war zones at a ceremony on Fleet Street to honor fallen journalists. Colvin said:
“Craters. Burned houses. Mutilated bodies. Women weeping for children and husbands. Men for their wives, mothers, children.
“Our mission is to report these horrors of war with accuracy and without prejudice.
“We always have to ask ourselves whether the level of risk is worth the story. What is bravery, and what is bravado?
“Journalists covering combat shoulder great responsibilities and face difficult choices. Sometimes they pay the ultimate price.”
In what may have been Colvin’s last report for the Sunday Times, published in the paper over the weekend, she wrote that the citizens of Homs were “waiting for a massacre.”
“The scale of human tragedy in the city is immense,” she wrote. “The inhabitants are living in terror. Almost every family seems to have suffered the death or injury of a loved one... On the lips of everyone was the question: 'Why have we been abandoned by the world?”
Ochlik, a 28-year-old photographer, had also covered many of the uprisings of the Arab Spring. He was represented by the IP3 agency, which he co-founded in Paris after quitting his studies at 20 to report on Haiti. His work appeared in Le Monde Magazine, VSD, Paris Match, Time Magazine and The Wall Street Journal.
In 2012, Ochlik was awarded the World Press Photo 1st prize in the General News category for a photo of a Libyan opposition fighter resting under a rebel flag in the battlefield oil town Ras Lanouf. You can see that photo here. You can see all of Ochlik’s photos here.