Marie Catherine Colvin (January 12, 1956 – February 22, 2012) was an award-winning American journalist who worked for the British newspaper The Sunday Times from 1985 until her death. She died while covering the siege of Homs in Syria.
Marie Colvin was born in Astoria, Queens, but grew up in East Norwich in the Town of Oyster Bay, Nassau County, on Long Island in New York. She graduated from Oyster Bay High School in 1974 and attended Yale University, graduating with a bachelor's degree in anthropology in 1978.
Colvin started her career in New York City as a midnight-to-6 a.m. police reporter for United Press International (UPI), a year after graduating from Yale. In 1984, Colvin became the Paris bureau chief for UPI, moving to The Sunday Times in 1985.
From 1986, she was the newspaper's Middle East correspondent, and then from 1995 was the Foreign Affairs correspondent. In 1986, she was the first to interview Muammar Gaddafi after Operation El Dorado Canyon. In May 1988 she made an extended appearance on the Channel 4 discussion programme After Dark, alongside Anton Shammas, Gerald Kaufman, Moshe Amirav and others.
Specialising in the Middle East, she also covered conflicts in Chechnya, Kosovo, Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka and East Timor. In 1999 in East Timor, she was credited with saving the lives of 1,500 women and children from a compound besieged by Indonesian-backed forces. Refusing to abandon them, she stayed with a United Nations force, reporting in her newspaper and on television. They were evacuated after four days. She won the International Women's Media Foundation award for Courage in Journalism for her coverage of Kosovo and Chechnya. She wrote and produced documentaries, including Arafat: Behind the Myth for the BBC. She is featured in the 2005 documentary film Bearing Witness.
Colvin lost the sight in her left eye due to a blast by a Sri Lankan Army rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) on April 16, 2001 while crossing from a LTTE controlled area to a Government controlled area; thereafter she wore an eyepatch. She was attacked even after calling out "journalist, journalist!" while reporting on the Sri Lankan Civil War. She told Lindsey Hilsum of Channel 4 News that her attacker "knew what he was doing." Colvin had walked over 30 miles through the Vanni jungle with her Tamil guides to evade government troops; she reported on the humanitarian disaster in the northern Tamil region, including a government blockade of food, medical supplies and prevention of foreign journalist access to the area for six years to cover the war. Colvin later suffered post traumatic stress disorder and required hospitalisation following her injuries. She was also a witness and an intermediary during the final days of the war in Sri Lanka and reported on war crimes against Tamils that were committed during this phase.
In 2011, while reporting on the Arab Spring in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, she was offered an opportunity to interview Muammar Gaddafi, along with two other journalists that she could nominate. For Gaddafi's first international interview since the start of the war, Colvin took along Christiane Amanpour of ABC News and Jeremy Bowen of BBC News. Colvin noted the importance of shining a light on "humanity in extremis, pushed to the unendurable", stating "My job is to bear witness. I have never been interested in knowing what make of plane had just bombed a village or whether the artillery that fired at it was 120mm or 155mm."
Colvin was married twice to journalist Patrick Bishop; both marriages ended in divorce. She also married journalist Juan Carlos Gumucio, who committed suicide in 2002. She resided in Hammersmith, West London. She had no children.
In February 2012, Colvin crossed into Syria on the back of a motocross motorcycle, ignoring the Syrian government's attempts to prevent foreign journalists from covering the 2011–2012 Syrian uprising. Colvin was stationed in the western Baba Amr district of the city of Homs, and made her last broadcast on the evening of February 21, appearing on the BBC, Channel 4, CNN and ITN News via satellite phone. She described "merciless", indiscriminate shelling and sniper attacks against civilian buildings and people on the streets of Homs by Syrian forces. Colvin, who had lost an eye to shrapnel in Sri Lanka and had covered conflicts in Chechnya, Kosovo, Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe, Libya, and East Timor, described the bombardment of Homs as the worst conflict she had ever experienced.
Colvin and award-winning French photographer Rémi Ochlik died on February 22, 2012 while fleeing an unofficial media building which was being shelled by the Syrian Army. Journalist Jean-Pierre Perrin and other sources reported that the building had been targeted by the Syrian Army, identified using satellite phone signals. Their team had been planning an exit strategy a few hours prior. On the evening of February 22, 2012, people of Homs mourned in the streets in honour of Colvin and Ochlik. Tributes were paid to Colvin across the media industry and political world following her death. The Sunday Times reported that Colvin had died with Ochlik trying to retrieve their shoes to escape army bombardment of the building they were in; footage emerged from Syria reporting the burial of their bodies in a garden near where they were killed, before they were exhumed and taken to Damascus before repatriation. An autopsy conducted in Damascus by the Syrian government concluded Marie Colvin was killed by an improvised explosive device filled with nails. The Syrian government claims the explosive device was planted by terrorists.
Colvin's funeral took place in Oyster Bay, New York on 12 March, 2012, in a service attended by 300 mourners including those who had followed her dispatches, friends and family.
- ^ Nordland, Rod; Cowell, Alan (February 22, 2012). "Two Western Journalists Killed in Syria Shelling". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/23/world/middleeast/marie-colvin-and-remi-ochlik-journalists-killed-in-syria.html.
- ^ a b c d e f Greenslade, Roy (February 22, 2012). "Marie Colvin obituary". The Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2012/feb/22/marie-colvin.
- ^ Ramos, Víctor Manuel (March 5, 2012). "Marie Colvin's body due back on Long Island Tuesday". Newsday. http://www.newsday.com/long-island/nassau/marie-colvin-s-body-due-back-on-li-tuesday-1.3579881.
- ^ "Journalist Killed in Syria Attended Yale". NBC Connecticut. February 22, 2012. http://www.nbcconnecticut.com/news/local/Journalist-Killed-in-Syria-Attended-Yale--139988613.html.
- ^ Sisgoreo, Daniel (February 22, 2012). "Colvin '78 killed in Syria". Yale Daily News. http://www.yaledailynews.com/news/2012/feb/22/colvin-78-killed-while-covering-syrian-strike/?cross-campus.
- ^ Ricchiardi, Sherry (April 2000). "Highway to the Danger Zone". American Journalism Review. http://www.ajr.org/article.asp?id=746. Retrieved February 22, 2012.
- ^ Miller, Judith (1997). God has Ninety-Nine Names: Reporting from a Militant Middle East. New York: Simon and Schuster. p. 232. ISBN 0-684-83228-3.
- ^ Dagmar Fors Karppi. "Woman Journalist Gets Her Story: In Spite of Grenade Attack, Marie Colvin Files Her Report". Anton News. http://www.antonnews.com/oysterbayenterprisepilot/2001/04/27/news/colvin.html. Retrieved February 22, 2012.
- ^ Walford, Charles (February 22, 2012). "Veteran Sunday Times journalist Marie Colvin 'killed in heavy shelling in Syria' just hours after broadcast on ITN News At Ten". Mail Online. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2104711/Marie-Colvin-dead-Journalist-killed-Homs-Syria-hours-ITN-News-At-Ten-broadcast.html. Retrieved February 22, 2012.
- ^ Spillius, Alex (February 22, 2012). "Marie Colvin killed in Syria: life and times of distinguished war correspondent". The Daily Telegraph. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/9098180/Marie-Colvin-killed-in-Syria-life-and-times-of-distinguished-war-correspondent.html. Retrieved February 22, 2012.
- ^ Fatima, Nazish (February 22, 2012). "Death of Marie Colvin, American journalist of war". http://www.allvoices.com/contributed-news/11570335-death-of-marie-colvin-american-journalist-of-war. Retrieved February 22, 2012.
- ^ Hodgson, Jessica (April 18, 2001). "Sunday Times journalist may lose sight". Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2001/apr/18/sundaytimes.pressandpublishing.
- ^ a b Wardrop, Murray (February 22, 2012). "Syria: Sunday Times journalist Marie Colvin 'killed in Homs'". The Daily Telegraph. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/9097762/Syria-Sunday-Times-journalist-Marie-Colvin-killed-in-Homs.html. Retrieved February 22, 2012.
- ^ Walt, Vivienne (February 22, 2012). "Syria: War Reporter Marie Colvin and Photographer Rémi Ochlik Are Killed". Time. http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2107394,00.html. Retrieved February 22, 2012.
- ^ a b c Colvin, Marie (May 25, 2009). "Slain Tamil chiefs were promised safety". The Australian. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/slain-tamil-chiefs-were-promised-safety/story-e6frg6t6-1225715467354. Retrieved February 22, 2012.
- ^ a b c Hilsum, Lindsey (February 22, 2012). "My friend, Marie Colvin". World News Blog. Channel 4. http://blogs.channel4.com/world-news-blog/my-friend-marie-colvin/20408. Retrieved February 24, 2012.
- ^ Greenslade, Roy (February 22, 2012). "Marie Colvin obituary". The Guardian. UK. http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2012/feb/22/marie-colvin. Retrieved February 25, 2012.
- ^ Amanpour, Christiane (March 1, 2011). "Col Gaddafi 'brushed off the international pressure'". ABC News. http://abcnews.go.com/International/christiane-amanpour-interviews-libyas-moammar-gadhafi/story?id=13019942.
- ^ Bowen, Jeremy (March 1, 2011). "Col Gaddafi 'brushed off the international pressure'". BBC News. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-12607475.
- ^ a b c "Veteran American war reporter Marie Colvin killed when Syrian army shells media center just hours after her last TV broadcast". Daily Mail. UK. February 22, 2012. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2104711/Marie-Colvin-dead-Journalist-killed-Homs-Syria-hours-ITN-News-At-Ten-broadcast.html. Retrieved February 22, 2012.
- ^ "Syria's Government Lies". Feb 22, 2012. http://ac360.blogs.cnn.com/2012/02/22/video-journalist-syrias-government-lies/.
- ^ "'Foreign journalists killed' in Homs shelling". Al Jazeera. February 22, 2012. http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2012/02/201222291445322238.html. Retrieved February 22, 2012.
- ^ "Veteran war reporter Marie Colvin killed in Syria". UK: Channel 4. February 22, 2012. http://www.channel4.com/news/veteran-war-reporter-marie-colvin-killed-in-syria. Retrieved February 22, 2012.
- ^ Nabila Ramdani, Peter Allen in Paris (February 22, 2012). "Marie Colvin: Britain summons Syria ambassador over killing". The Daily Telegraph. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/9098511/Marie-Colvin-Britain-summons-Syria-ambassador-over-killing.html. Retrieved February 22, 2012.
- ^ "Syrian activists pay tribute to journalists Marie Colvin and Remi Ochlik killed in Homs". The Telegraph. February 23, 2012. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/9100272/Syrian-activists-pay-tribute-to-journalists-Marie-Colvin-and-Remi-Ochlik-killed-in-Homs.html. Retrieved February 24, 2012.
- ^ "Tributes paid to Sunday Times reporter Marie Colvin". BBC. February 22, 2012. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-17127722. Retrieved March 2, 2012.
- ^ "Marie Colvin died trying to retrieve her shoes". The Australian. February 26, 2012. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/breaking-news/marie-colvin-died-trying-to-retrieve-her-shoes/story-fn3dxity-1226281813013.
- ^ "Journalist Marie Colvin died trying to get her shoes". CNN. http://www.cnn.com/2012/02/26/world/syria-marie-colvin/index.html?iref=obnetwork.
- ^ "18+ Syria – Assad Holds Marie Colvin and Remi Ochlik Corpses Hostage in Baba Amr, Homs". http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=49xE-0huSBU&feature=channel_video_title. Retrieved March 2, 2012.
- ^ "Syrian activist video claims to show burial of US journalist Marie Colvin in Homs on Monday". The Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/syrian-activist-video-claims-to-show-burial-of-us-journalist-marie-colvin-in-homs-on-monday/2012/03/01/gIQAuB5ykR_story.html. Retrieved March 2, 2012.
- ^ شام حمص بابا عمرو جثة الصحفية الامريكية ماري كولفن 27 2 2012 on YouTube
- ^ "Syrie – La vérité sur la mort de la journaliste américaine Marie Colvin" (in French). Algeria ISP. March 5, 2012. http://www.algeria-isp.com/actualites/politique-syrie/201203-A9077/syrie-verite-sur-mort-journaliste-americaine-marie-colvin-mars-2012.html. Retrieved March 7, 2012.
- ^ Walters, Joanna (March 12, 2012). "Marie Colvin: mourners say farewell to 'talented, compassionate' war reporter". The Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2012/mar/12/marie-colvin-funeral-mourners-farewell. Retrieved April 24, 2012.
- Leith, Denise (2004). Bearing Witness: The Lives of War Correspondents and Photojournalists. Random House Australia. pp. 92f. ISBN 1-74051-260-X.
- Mills, Eleanor (2005). "Marie Colvin, 1957–". Cupcakes and Kalashnikovs: 100 Years of the Best Journalism by Women. London: Constable. pp. 152f. ISBN 1-84529-165-4.
- Marie Colvin at the Internet Movie Database
- Marie Colvin's final report covering the besieged Syrian enclave of Baba Amr, The Sunday Times, February 19, 2012.
- Marie Colvin: The uncrowned Queen of Intrepid Journalists ~ by D.B.S. Jeyaraj, DBSJeyaraj.com, February 24, 2012.
- Nir, Sarah Maslin. "At Funeral, Recalling Many Sides of Reporter." The New York Times. March 13, 2012.
- Nordland, Rod and Alan Cowell. "Two Western Journalists Killed in Syria Shelling." The New York Times. February 22, 2012.
- Jeremy Bowen. "Marie Colvin remembered by Jeremy Bowen: The consummate war reporter, Colvin was kind, funny, brave and empathetic." The Guardian. 22 December 2012
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