This scene starts with Dan and his journalist colleagues receiving news that American troops were being sent to Somalia, and they are joyous that their work might be making the world pay attention. A food shortage was the result of years of hijacked trade routes and looting of international food aid deliveries. The objective of Operation Restore Hope was to secure the trade routes in Somalia so that food could get to the people. What follows is footage of the American troops arriving and scouting areas as the journalists follow, capturing images of this work.
1. Prior to this moment, Dan has received advice from his photojournalist mentor, Duff. She advises him, “What you need is the living juxtaposition.” A juxtaposition is the act of placing two things close together or side by side for comparison and contrast.
This scene recreates the photograph of Dan’s shown here.
List and discuss the juxtapositions you see in this photograph.
Where else do you see juxtapositions taking place in this film clip?
Early in this clip, Dan asks the soldier, Marazzo, “Who’s the enemy?” Marazzo responds, “Hunger, sickness and starvation.” Why does this photograph suggest otherwise?
2. Also featured in this scene is Duff discussing with Dan the complications involved for journalists when covering war. She notes that journalists can be used as pawns by local factions seeking attention for their issues. She warns Dan that just because he is looking through the lens of camera doesn’t mean that the camera is a form of protection.
The danger of covering stories that take place in areas of conflict or that have volatile political stability is that journalists become targets of opposing sides.
Like Dan, many other journalists have given their lives to cover stories.
Research more about the risks journalists take, how their rights are often violated, and the critically important role of the press by visiting:
3. Film extension: One way to explore the topic of dangers of journalism is by watching films that dive deeper into this subject. Watch and discuss the film award winning film, Dying to Tell the Story.
Dan’s sister, Amy Eldon Turteltaub, wrote about the film for
The Huffington Post in 2013, “After Dan’s death, in an attempt to understand why he was willing to risk his life to go into a country at war just to take pictures, I came up with the idea for the film, “Dying To Tell the Story.” It was a documentary about front-line journalists like South Africa’s Peter Magubane who endured 362 days of solitary confinement for shooting a photograph of a policeman killing an innocent man. Or Christiane Amanpour, who took unthinkable risks as a young reporter for CNN in Bosnia. Directed by Kyra Thompson, the film was distributed by CNN to more than 120 countries.
Filming the documentary helped me finally understand why journalists, why my brother, why so many people’s sons, daughters and parents risk their lives to bring us the news. I learned that the journalists I interviewed had a higher objective for good, and by doing their jobs — putting themselves in dangerous situations and sharing stories of conflict and famine — they were saving lives.”
Rock Your World is a program of Creative Visions
Rock Your World is a Program of Creative Visions, a 501(c) (3) organization that supports creative activists - individuals who use the power of media and arts to create positive change in the world.