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If journalism is the first draft of history, then independent journalists are surely its most daring composers. Along such celebrated and high-profile figures as Christiane Amanpour and Wolf Blitzer, there exists a stratum of journalists self-employed, working under dire conditions, and with minimal resources who often place themselves at ground zero of world events. In this gripping account, Anthony Collings takes us into the world of independent journalists, and the daily challenges they face confronting dictators, hostile military, and narcoterrorists. Unfettered by any ties to those in positions of power, these guerrilla journalists are often the first on a story whether reporting on corruption in Mexico, organized crime in Russia, or sexual scandal in the Middle East and accordingly face the brunt of their subject's wrath. Collings, who has himself been held captive while on assignment, here focuses less on those nations in which the press is either largely free (such as the U.S. or Western European democracies) or aggressively restricted (as in China), and more on those "battleground countries" where the eventual outcome of the struggle between state and fourth estate remains unclear. Relying on interviews, professional contacts, and his own experiences, Collings explores the dilemmas and strategies of journalists who persevere in the face of war, repressive governments, and criminal aggression, with particular emphasis on the role of the Internet. At a time when journalism is increasingly a profession under siege, Words of Fire forces into the spotlight a more positive side of the profession, those who pursue journalism not for profit or fame but as a personal crusade.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780814716052
ISBN-10: 0814716059
Format: Hardback
(5817mm x 3887mm x 24mm)
Pages: 264
Imprint: New York University Press
Publisher: New York University Press
Publish Date: 1-Jun-2001
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - Anthony C. Collings

Newsweek's former London and Bonn bureau chief and previously a reporter for the Wall Street Journal, Anthony Collings came to the University of Michigan as the Howard R. Marsh Professor of Journalism and now teaches in the Department of Communication Studies. Captured and held at gunpoint while reporting for CNN from Beirut, Collings has shared an Emmy for his reporting on the Oklahoma City bombing.