National Press Club

National Press Club mourns death of reporters covering unrest in Syria

February 22, 2012 | By John Hughes | jhughes5@bloomberg.net

National Press Club President Theresa Werner expressed outrage about the deaths of two journalists Feb. 22 during a shelling in the Syrian-opposition stronghold of Homs.

American journalist Marie Colvin, working for the Sunday Times of London, and Remi Ochlik, a French photojournalist, were both killed in the attack, according to media reports citing a French spokeswoman. Shells hit a building Syrian rebels had turned into an impromptu press center, according to reports quoting a message to Sunday Times employees from owner Rupert Murdoch.

"Journalists are risking their lives so the world won't be cut off from the dramatic and sad story of the suffering of the Syrian people," Werner said. "We salute their spirit while we decry the needless loss of their lives."

Hours before her death, in telephone interviews with outlets including the BBC and CNN, Colvin described the death of a young boy she had witnessed. French and U.S. government representatives condemned the killings.

"The recent loss of the New York Times' Anthony Shadid shows the risk foreign correspondents put themselves under even when not directly in the line of fire," Werner said. "The loss of Ochlik and Colvin is an outrage because they were attacked while trying to do their jobs."

Shadid died last week of an apparent asthma attack while reporting for the New York Times in Syria.