Aleppo Needs Writers to Put it on the Record


The news from Aleppo today makes me sick. We can come at this from any angle we want, but the fact is we are all bystanders. We are “the good man who does nothing.”

This is a bad day for those of us who can write and photograph and otherwise document. I’m reading tweets from reporters who are over there saying their work has amounted to nothing. And I’ve heard every excuse in the book from journos who stay home: from grad-school pap about objectivity in the post modern world, to fear of getting traumatized if they go. I had one friend on the left stop just short of saying that beheaded white journalists got what they deserved (because privilege!)

For a bit of clarity on the questions I’m afraid to admit I don’t have the answers to today, I turned to the words of war reporter Martha Gellhorn.

“If nobody puts it down on the record anywhere, then the monsters win totally…

Does it stop anything? I have no feeling that anything I’ve done has been of any use but at least it is better than silence. Because if you’re silent they can rewrite it anyway they want. They can make it look great afterwards.”

Martha Gellhorn: On the Record

Martha Gellhorn broke the mold. She was the first woman to achieve an international reputation as a war reporter. She emulated, and some say surpassed, her f…

This post began as a Facebook rant.