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This political cartoon, created by Jon Kudelka, is the most profound commentary I've seen in a single frame on the critical importance of the work journalists do in conflict zones, whether in Ferguson, Missouri or in the Gaza Strip.

Kudelka's cartoon was created in 2004, as a critique on the Iraq War and a commentary on war crimes being committed there. However, more that these things, Kudelka's piece highlights the heroism of journalists who put their lives on the line to cover conflicts in which the lives of others are being taken.

As we speak, if not for the work being done by journalists in Ferguson, there is no doubt more violence would be taking place, evidenced by police efforts to keep the cameras away. In Gaza, as horrific as the bloodshed has been, without the images which emerged, and continue to do so, of the destruction and of the lives being lost, things would be infinitely worse with the international community in the dark.  

Recently, we learned that journalists had been injured in a helicopter crash in Iraq, including New York Times reporters Alissa Rubin and Adam Ferguson, covering the tragedy of the Yazidi. This morning, we learned A.P. journalist Simone Camilli was killed in Gaza while filming a bomb disposal unit trying to neutralize an Israeli ordinance. And we know that these are just recent examples of the many journalists who have lost their lives or been imprisoned while covering abuses and atrocities.

We know that cameras save lives. Police forces which demand officers wear body cameras have seen significant reductions in "use of force" incidents.

The reporter's lens, or citizen journalists armed with nothing but an iPhone, can have a similar effect.

In short, those who cover conflicts in the face of intense danger and pressure from authorities not to do so are heroes. And Kudelka's cartoon is an expression of that fact.


What Do You Buy For the Children
David Harris-Gershon is author of the memoir What Do You Buy the Children of the Terrorist Who Tried to Kill Your Wife?, recently published by Oneworld Publications.

Originally posted to David Harris-Gershon (The Troubadour) on Wed Aug 13, 2014 at 06:40 AM PDT.

Also republished by Writing by David Harris Gershon.

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