Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Veronica Guerin ...Was It Worth Losing a Life?

In our first journalism theory lecture,Chris Horrie showed us a short film about journalists who were killed while doing their job.

Veronica Guerin's story kept haunting me ever since I saw that presentation. I was drawn to her story for all the obvious reasons of course; she was a very strong willed woman ,braver than alot of men I know,really good at her job mainly because she loved it.

I've just finished the film made about her that carries her name and must say it is going to be hard to get over it...her actually...My husband looked at me recognizing my sorrow for Guerin's death and my great admiration for her. He then asked me, "do you want to be like her?" "is it worth losing your life? losing your kids maybe?" I said I didn't really know...Then I said "No...No it's not"

I think what affected me the most was that phone call she got from one of the drug barons telling her that if she writes anything about him he was going to kidnap her son,rape him and then shoot her. She eventually died for her cause and things have changed for the better as far as the war on drug dealers was concerned.She is now a saint,a hero. A dead hero.

At the end of the day there's a son who will never have his mom back, a husband that lost his wife and a woman who put herself and her loved ones in danger to eventually be brutally murdered.

I stand humble infront of that woman's courage and infront of the courage of many journalists who were arrested,detained,tortured,terrorised or killed in the pursuit of truth.

Yet,as an aspiring journalist I have to take a second to ask myself ; is it all worth it? How many awful things in the world have really changed at the cost of the lives of those trying to change them? How far will I honestly allow myself to go? How brave am I really? If I'm not willing to put myself in danger for the job,am I not commited enough? What right do I have to put my family into any kind of danger?

This is not a defeated mentality, marginally sceptic yes. But mostly, realistic.

I am ambitious. I want to be a good journalist. I want to write great stories and reveal truths. I want to question. I want to change the world.I want to live to see it change.



That's so sad. I remember leaving that lecture feeling so low, but so inspired. She was amazing, there's no other word for it.

Kate Leaman said...
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