Robert Fisk: The best and most truthful journalist in danger

<p>Fisk was never afraid to tell the truth</p>

Robert Fisk may have won more valuable prizes than any other journalist – collecting dozens and dozens of awards – he did not display them in his Irish home, he wisely discarded them.

Although he is not a braggart, he has established himself as one of the best British foreign correspondents of every decade since the 1970s. While there were still many great journalists, he distinguished himself by his courage, his intelligence and his excellent writing ability. The Independent.

He was fearless in telling the truth to the authorities and going to places of great danger again and again. He had a house near Dublin, but another house in Beirut, where reporters were often at risk of being abducted.

Born in Midstone, Kent in 1946, Fisk wanted to be a film critic as a schoolboy, and he told an interviewer last year that he was “inspired by film because it seems to have unstoppable power to believe.” The film will feature Hitchcock’s wartime hero Huntley Haverstock in his career choice Foreign correspondent Encourage a young fisk.

His career began Sunday Express, But he first distinguished himself in Belfast in the 1970s, becoming a Northern Ireland correspondent The Times In 1972. It is a city that many news organizations have longed for to repeat the often dubious official versions of many controversial incidents. But Fisk checked everything and double-checked, simply refusing to accept what the authorities said, much to the annoyance of the British government and army.

Fiskin’s reporting philosophy, which will last a lifetime, is summarized in the quote he gave decades later: “You must follow any source you can.” He always had a notebook in his hand. “I was surprised to find myself reporting a war,” he said of his time report in Belfast. “I always refer to Northern Ireland as a war, but not issues.”

Fisk will report from Portugal before becoming a Middle Eastern correspondent in 1976. Based in Beirut, he occupies an apartment located in its famous Corniche, which he has owned for decades, often spending part of his evenings on the balcony. In a way, he didn’t really leave Ireland. He wrote two books about it, and bought a wonderful house overlooking the sea in Tolkien, south of Dublin, where he often returned. Later, after living in Beirut for many years, he added several Middle Eastern touches to the home.

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Fisk was inspired by the insecurity in the Middle East and the continuing violent conflict, and he will report on the civil wars in Lebanon and Algeria, the Iran-Iraq war and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Fisk won this year’s International Correspondent at the 1979 Press Awards, and with his dispatch from the Iran-Iraq conflict of the 1980s, the awards will never be far off.

Fisk was one of the first reporters to enter the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps, where more than 1,000 people were killed in 1982. It was a situation that helped develop him as a reporter. “The Israelis saw and did nothing,” he wrote. “With two colleagues, I entered the camps before the killers committed their war crimes. I hid in the back of a hut next to a young woman who had just been hanged by an American reporter. I climbed into the piles of corpses. That evening, I burned my clothes because they were decomposed.”

He would later say of the massacre: “I remember thinking: If these people had souls, they would want me to be there. For that reason I thought they would consider me a friend. So I was not terrified. I was horrified that they were murdered, but it was [manifested itself in] Anger. ”

He will win another International Correspondent of the Year award for that pass, which the judges called “scattering” both “shocking” in its descriptive power. [and] Its total effect is almost unbearable. ” His other works from the Middle East “showed the same determination to find the truth and the same sensitivity to human suffering in the midst of war,” the judges added. The following year, Fisk won the Reporter of the Year award for his work covering the Lebanese civil war.

Fisk will leave The Times After a controversy over how one of his stories was handled in 1989, he later wrote about the insult to the title’s owner, Rupert Murdoch. He joined The Independent, He will stay for the rest of his life – which includes two weddings and numerous trips around the world.

He was known for his desire to go to dangerous areas and for his writing. He made no secret of his personal views – on one occasion his statement on the Armenian genocide. At the same time as he became an outspoken critic of the United States and Israel, he often wrote and spoke of the pity he had for the people who saw him killed. His writing can be controversial – such as the later report on Syria – and sometimes brutal. Fiskin’s style he picked up opponents, but also picked up many loyal readers.

In The Independent, Fisk won this year’s International Correspondent of the Year award twice at the 1994 and 1995 press awards for sending from Bosnia and Algeria – as well as several general amnesty international media awards and the Orwell Prize in 1999.

Continued interviews with Osama bin Laden, the leader of al-Qaeda, will truly make Fisk’s name worldwide. At the first meeting in 1993, Fisk interviewed three times the person he described as “every inch of the Mujahideen legend.” Further encounters with the man who became one of the FBI’s most wanted terrorists in 1996 and 1997. Bisque undoubtedly made an appearance on the man who resembled the 9/11 attacks, as the 2016 release of bin Laden’s personal documents by the United States makes this clear.

The so-called war on terror that followed the 9/11 attacks will mark Fiskin’s writings in his remaining days. His shipments from Baghdad were banned by the British government when the US-UK bombing campaign in Iraq began in 2003. His contempt for governments or leaders seeking war or resolving suffering was always clear. It is a book about his role in the 2011 Arab uprisings and the war in Syria.

In addition to his hundreds – or thousands – of newspaper stories, he immersed himself in Middle Eastern history, politics and culture and produced considerable books. Including his books The Point of No Return: The Strike It broke the English at Ulster (1975), Awful The Nation: Lebanon at War (2001), The Great War for Civilization – The Conquest of the Middle East (2005), and Age of Warrior: Selected Articles (2008).

When I asked him at his Irish home, when we were surrounded by manuscripts, he was about to hand over to his publisher, when he was going to light up and take things easy, he said with a smile, “I only have two more big books. “I don’t believe these are always over.

Another important part of his life grew when he was pressured to deliver talks about the Middle East in many countries. When he started doing so, the scream for tickets was huge, and Fisk often attracted more than 1,000 spectators. At an event in Dublin, he was hosted by his Connor O’Clary’s press friend, which was attended by 1,200 people. Fiskin’s works were also featured in the 2019 documentary This is not a movie.

That’s the pull of a man who for decades has helped readers understand the world – and its injustices – as best he can.

Robert Fisk lives with his wife, filmmaker and human rights activist Nelofer Basira

Robert Bisk was born on July 12, 1946, and died on October 30, 2020

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