To Honor Tim Hetherington

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In light of the tragic news that photographer and film maker Tim Hetherington was killed today by government shelling in Libya, and that colleagues Chris Hondros and Guy Martin were gravely wounded and, by some reports, may also have died [Update: the death of Hondros as well has now been confirmed], two suggestions:

- Give an extra thought to members of the much-reviled "mainstream media" who expose themselves to danger and inconvenience to help us understand the world. They are no longer our only ways of gathering such understanding, but they play an indispensable part.

Please spare a thought as well for Atlantic reporter Clare Morgana Gillis, captured with several colleagues more than two weeks ago in Libya and still held there.

- Please be sure to see Tim Hetherington's powerful documentary movie (with Sebastian Junger), Restrepo. I won't spoil the experience by telling you what will learn, but I promise you will learn something. It is about a year in the life (and deaths) of an American combat unit in Afghanistan. The shot below is of Junger and Hetherington (on the right) at Outpost Restrepo while filming the unit's activities.

RESTREPO_JUNGER_HETHERINGTON_008_t614.jpg

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James Fallows is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and has written for the magazine since the late 1970s. He has reported extensively from outside the United States and once worked as President Carter's chief speechwriter. His latest book is China Airborne. More

James Fallows is based in Washington as a national correspondent for The Atlantic. He has worked for the magazine for nearly 30 years and in that time has also lived in Seattle, Berkeley, Austin, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai, and Beijing. He was raised in Redlands, California, received his undergraduate degree in American history and literature from Harvard, and received a graduate degree in economics from Oxford as a Rhodes scholar. In addition to working for The Atlantic, he has spent two years as chief White House speechwriter for Jimmy Carter, two years as the editor of US News & World Report, and six months as a program designer at Microsoft. He is an instrument-rated private pilot. He is also now the chair in U.S. media at the U.S. Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, in Australia.

Fallows has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award five times and has won once; he has also won the American Book Award for nonfiction and a N.Y. Emmy award for the documentary series Doing Business in China. He was the founding chairman of the New America Foundation. His recent books Blind Into Baghdad (2006) and Postcards From Tomorrow Square (2009) are based on his writings for The Atlantic. His latest book is China Airborne. He is married to Deborah Fallows, author of the recent book Dreaming in Chinese. They have two married sons.

Fallows welcomes and frequently quotes from reader mail sent via the "Email" button below. Unless you specify otherwise, we consider any incoming mail available for possible quotation -- but not with the sender's real name unless you explicitly state that it may be used. If you are wondering why Fallows does not use a "Comments" field below his posts, please see previous explanations here and here.
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