Journalists down in Homs

Marie Colvin was all over British TV news programmes yesterday, reporting on the ground on the indiscriminate slaughter of Homs residents by forces loyal to the Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad. Veteran war correspondent Colvin’s reporting was professional, clear and to the point, as befits a journalist of her calibre and experience. Today Colvin is dead, having been caught up in the Syrian army shelling of a makeshift media centre in the Baba Amr district of Homs. Colvin’s colleague, the photographer Rémi Ochlik, was also killed in the blast.

You will have to excuse this professional indulgence, but the news of two journalists killed while doing their jobs, in our service, fills me with a terrible grief. Along with countless others I have been following events in Syria as best I can, and every story of civilian deaths is painful. But, in an age of rolling broadcast news, with graphic images of human suffering, one can so easily become inured to barbarity of the kind we see in Syria. Among Colvin’s last reported words were “I saw a little baby die today.” Almost as tragic as this horrific image is that we have come to expect such things.

RIP Marie Colvin & Rémi Ochlik