Journalism in a war zone
Currently I’m back in Europe after a long trip to Afghanistan.
I’ve travelled with the US forces this time, especially 10th Mountain Division up in Wardak Province and the US Air Force combat rescuers in Kandahar and Helmand. Working with Americans was to my surprise extremely easy. Anything is possible with them and they are polite.
As an independent journalist it’s hard to make a really decent living on the road. The stories I’ve sold have paid expenses. I’m not whining, just telling the truth. The people who make money in a combat zone are not independent journalists. Or soldiers. I could tell you who makes the money for doing a less dangerous job, but you can figure that out by yourself.
The pictures I’ve taken show a different side to Afghanistan than most people see. They also show the local population as well as the behind the scenes of war.
I’m interested in human stories. I’m also interested in showing what people do in a war zone because it’s so much more than the opening scene of Saving Private Ryan. This by the way is nothing like Afghanistan. Only ISAF troops are in uniform and there is no way of telling who’s who when it comes to the local people and the ones that wants to put you in harm’s way.
I’m disappointed that I haven’t been able to talk to locals as much as I wanted to. The security is vital and hiring fixers and translators on a freelance budget is impossible. Most people don’t realize, that a combat insurance alone cost more than $300 a week. I’m not complaining because I love what I do. I really really love it.
I work hard to earn enough to take another trip to a conflict zone. Independent journalism rocks. It just doesn’t pay the bills. I will make my way to a conflict zone again soon. It’s what I do. Someones got to go.