Jon Lee Anderson writes in The New Yorker about the particular risks of reporting in Syria, a country with deep religious rifts, and without a stable security apparatus.
It is a fascinating look into the risks of reporting–or even simply working in–a country at war with itself.
“In a civil war that has cost the lives thus far of at least forty thousand Syrians, hatred and suspicions are rife, and the unique ethnic and sectarian alchemy that made Syria such a distinctive place for centuries has come asunder. As the country’s social structure unravels, so too have its traditional relationships. As important as it is for reporters to go there, as Engel bravely did, to witness these realities, it becomes highly dangerous for reporters to move around under such circumstances. Reliable intermediaries help, and sometimes prior approval is necessary. In a fluid battlefield situation, however, deals can be broken, and there is also the active criminal element, such as the former drug and contraband smugglers who have long flourished along Syria’s borders.”