Marie Colvin, an American who was one of Britain’s most honored combat journalists, was killed when Syrian forces bombed a makeshift media center in the besieged city of Homs. At 56, Colvin was no novice at witnessing sickening events. She was herself a victim of violence, having lost her left eye after coming under government fire in Sri Lanka in 2001. While many might have sought a prosthetic eye, Colvin chose instead to wear a black eye patch, something of a badge of honor for conflict journalism, instantly making her the most distinctive reporter in any combat zone. “We always have to ask ourselves whether the level of risk is worth the story,” she said in 2010. Shaken by these losses, many journalists will be wrestling with that question in the days and weeks ahead.
This text originally appeared in the Mar. 05, 2012 issue of TIME magazine.
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