21 Apr 2011

Tributes to photojournalists killed in Libya

Tributes are pouring in for Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros, the two photojournalists killed in Misrata, including from Channel 4 News Foreign Correspondent Jonathan Miller in Tripoli.

Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros died in a rocket attack in Misrata, while covering the conflict in Libya. Two other journalists, Guy Martin and Michael Christopher Brown, were also injured.

Tributes from across the media have come in for the pair, who both had illustrious careers. Mr Hetherington, 40, was the co-director of Oscar-nominated war documentary Restrepo, and Mr Hondros, 41, won the Robert Capa Gold Medal for war photography.

Tim Hetherington

A statement on the Vanity Fair website said: “Hetherington was widely respected by his peers for his bravery and camaraderie. His imaginative, even artistic, approach to photojournalistic subjects led to many honours.”

Tributes for photojournalists killed in Libya (Reuters - Tim Hetherington)

(Image shot by Tim Hetherington in Misrata before his death)

PR worker Cathy Saypol, who represented Hetherington for several years, said: “We are saddened beyond words that our friend, photographer and film-maker, Tim Hetherington, was killed in Misrata this morning.”

'He was a man fired up by injustice'
Tim Hetherington was on the side of those on the side of the angels. He was a man fired up by injustice, who used his huge creative talents to give voice to the voiceless. That's why he'll have been in Misrata.

His intention – as it was so many times in the past – would have been to paint a thoughtful portrait of life in the line of fire. To show the reality of life for those holding out against Muammar Gaddafi's repressive regime…and to give a lie to its lies that the Libyan armed forces are not firing indiscriminately into civilian areas. Sadly, his death is proof that they were.

Read more from Jonathan Miller in his blog Tim Hetherington: a tribute

Sue Turton, Al Jazeera Correspondent, worked with Mr Hetherington at Channel 4 News.

She said: “Tim cared about the people he filmed or photographed and it showed in his work. We’ve lost one of the world’s greatest photojournalists and one of the industry’s nicest guys. God bless you mate.”

Read more from Sue Turton on in her blog, Remembering Tim Hetherington.

Mr Hetherington’s friend James Brabazon, who worked with him on Restrepo, said he was an “extremely talented, experienced and dedicated” person who had gone to Libya “for humanitarian reasons. He went there to shed light on a very confusing situation.”

Mr Brabazon added: “Although it’s an oxymoron to say it, Tim was a very cautious war reporter. He knew the risks but he decided to take them in order to cover the story.”

Tributes for photojournalists killed in Libya (Getty - Chris Hondros)

(Image shot by Chris Hondros in Misrata before his death)

Hondros covered major conflicts including Kosovo, Angola, Sierra Leone, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Kashmir, the West Bank, Iraq and Liberia, according to his website. He received multiple awards including the 2005 Robert Capa gold medal. His work in Liberia earned him a Pulitzer Prize nomination.

“Chris never shied away from the front line having covered the world’s major conflicts throughout his distinguished career and his work in Libya was no exception,” Getty said.

Bobby Ghosh, TIME magazine’s International Editor, wrote: “War photographers are the bravest people I know. In many years of covering conflict, from Kashmir to Palestine to Iraq, I’ve had the honor to befriend and work with some of the finest, and bravest, of the breed. Few were in the league of Chris Hondros.”

Read more from Bobby Ghosh in his piece In Memoriam: Chris Hondros

The White House Press Secretary said: “We were deeply saddened to hear that journalist Chris Hondros has died as the result of injuries sustained while covering the conflict in Misrata. Chris’s tragic death underscores the need to protect journalists as they cover conflicts across the globe. Our thoughts are with Chris’s family and loved ones.”

Libya deaths

The New York based Committee to Protect Journalists said two other journalists had already been killed covering the conflict.

Mohammed al-Nabbous, founder of the online Libya Al-Hurra TV, was killed by an unknown gunman as he was streaming live audio from a battle in Benghazi on March 19, the CPJ said in a statement. Cameraman Ali Hassan al-Jaber was shot when his Al Jazeera crew was ambushed near Benghazi on 13 March.

The White House added that the Libyan Government and all Governments across the world must take steps to protect journalists who “give a voice to those who would not otherwise be heard”.