Former Colleague Remembers Slain AP Photographer
Friday, April 04, 2014
Afghan President Hamid Karzai is expressing sadness over the shooting attack that killed a veteran Associated Press photographer and wounded an AP reporter.
The two journalists had been sitting in their car in eastern Afghanistan when an Afghan policeman opened fire on them. Photographer Anja Niedringhaus was killed instantly, and reporter Kathy Gannon is hospitalized in stable condition.
A witness says the policeman surrendered and was arrested.
The attack came on the eve of nationwide elections in Afghanistan. The Taliban have vowed to disrupt the vote.
Jamie Tarabay, former NPR foreign correspondent, met Niedringhaus in Gaza in the early 2000′s. She joins Here & Now’s Robin Young to discuss the attack and the death of her colleague.
Interview Highlights: Jamie Tarabay
On how she remembers Anja Niedringhaus
“On so many levels, what Anja brought to her work and to her life — you know, I woke up this morning and my Facebook page was full of everyone’s remembrances of her. And the thing about Anja that everyone — it was unanimous — they all talked about her laughter. She has this really big laugh, you know, it just comes out of her gut. That’s how everybody remembers her, no matter where they might have met her or what they would have done with her. That’s how we all remember her, and that’s how I remember her. And our hearts are broken this morning.”
On Anja as a photojournalist
“She was a professional and she never shied away from the truth. And no matter how ugly it was, she was unafraid of capturing that with her photography. And she was also capable of some of the most incredibly harrowing, emotional, searing images. I mean, the way she approached all of her subjects — people, civilians, soldiers, wounded, dead — she’s extraordinary. And the gift that she shared with all of us, I’m really thankful today that so much of her work is being shown to people around the world so they can see just how much she did, and how much it is that the professional world has lost in this photographer.”
On the danger to journalists in Afghanistan
“Anja knew better than anybody the risks involved with covering war and she was very circumspect about it. You all have to be. And when you go there, you know that you have to do everything you can to minimize the risk as much as you can, but at the end of the day you also acknowledge that there is risk that you haven’t accounted for. And what happened with Anja and Kathy was so random — this policeman. I’m still trying to wrap my head around the idea that this man walked up to this car and saw these two women sitting in the backseat and decided to shoot them.”