2012 The Firing Line


Some of the most dramatic video of the year has been brought to us by freelance journalists covering hostile environments around the world. Firing Line pays tribute to them.

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He was shot by police who were trying to break up the riot. Now on


BBC News, we pay tribute to the freelance journalists who risk


their lives to bring you pictures from the world's most dangerous


places. We heard the militia smashing doors, breaking windows


houses... They shot at me as well, they targeted us. I saw people


being crucified and I wondered if that what was what was going to


happen to us. This is Al-Qaeda in the Arabian


Peninsula. They control a whole city. In order to get these shots,


way.rm's way. There are not enough coffins,


so men are wrapped in white shrouds. people


taken at great risk in remote and window


window on events that affect our lives. The lookout warns that the


militia was on our street. These are some of the best pictures of


the year. All shot by freelance video journalists.


We step behind the camera to those who were filming on the front lines.


freelance journalists nominated in the categories of the Rory Peck


Awards. The judges look at more than 70 entrants from around the


world. They were founded in the name of Rory Peck, a British


freelancer killed by crossfire in Moscow in 1993. His memory lives on


it in the trust which works on behalf of freelance camera crews.


winners. of London went up in flames in the


summer of 2011, Jason Parkinson captured the widespread rioting


sparked by the shooting of a young black man by police. As the


situation quickly deteriorates, Jason rushes to the north of the


capital. The first thing that struck me was the amount of debris


in the streets and how much was on fire. It felt as though society was


starting to collapse. Rioters have vented their anger at police. There


were reports of journalists being attacked. From Tottenham the unrest


spreads. Jason is around, filming the turmoil. I think the most


dangerous point for me was when I was behind the police line and


there was a huge volley of rocks and other missiles. There were


several times that I caught on film that I thought we were all going to


have to run, including the police. It seemed as though they had lost


control. But their tactics seemed not to work. The judges applauded


Jason for his courage in getting footage from both sides of the


police lines. Stories from the Middle East


feature prominently in these awards. Footage from Egypt earned Roddy


Hafiz a finalist nomination for news. Thousands turn out in Cairo


to protest after more than 70 football fans are killed in clashes


the previou the previou convinces h convinces h to give him a


camera and starts filming for the first time. As violence engulfs


downtown, he puts himself in the I am watching the throwing of the


rocks and looking at the tear gas canisters. It happens fast but I am


still able to hold the camera steady and look around. Amid the


chaos, his main concern is staying forces


You can say that they would shoot energised.


energised. I felt that what I was witnessing needed to get to the


outside world. The winner of the filmed


filmed in Homs as the rebels came under fire at the beginning of the


year. Homs has become one of the most dangerous places on earth.


Mani follows soldiers of the Free firefight. He finds himself at a


headquarters. Rebels go upstairs to flush out snipers. I knew the


rebels could go upstairs and I had to be careful to be protected by


the wall. I had to not get too close if they had thrown a grenade


been... been... That could have been


extremely dangerous. But they did not. He left teaching three years


ago and became a photojournalist. This is his first time filming on


assignment. I was terrified, like zone.


zone. It is a challenge. As the bullets fly, the fighters that he


The rebels turn the camera on Mani, as they travel through Homs, his


escorts make fun of him for lying down. It is a moment of levity


judges judges said that it was the unique


combination of combat footage and interviews that set his footage


apart. For the former primary school teacher, it is the suffering


of children that affects in the most. One of the most heartbreaking


moments is the moment when I have to interview children who had just


been very badly hurt from a mortar attack. They are going through a


very harsh trauma. You must ask them questions are so that you can


tell the world what is happening. What the situation is. It is a


difficult moment. Back to Egypt, and our first finalist in the


features category. May Abdalla and Inigo Gilmore pose as tourists to


revolution and the chaotic aftermath. Over the course of one


year, they follow three young people from different backgrounds.


The judges The judges hildren of the Revolution for giving a human face


to an important story. There were so many difficulties about making


this film. Journalists are suspect. Cameras had to be smuggled in.


There were times during filming that they were suspected of being


spies. We had to be very careful and navigate our way very carefully


through the situations. To ensure that we captured those scenes, but


we were able to keep on filming without getting roughed up or


detained. Inigo Gilmore went to Egypt to see what happened to the


Egyptians. I saw a lot of the darkness. Egypt was very tense. It


was more violent than people realise. It was a very challenging


film to make, in that sense. conflict in Libya features twice


this year. It is summer 2011 and British journalist Patrick Wells


spends three weeks at embedded with a group of Libyan opposition


fighters, citizens turned soldiers. Patrick follows the men of the


Martyrs Brigade, 24 hours a day. was very lucky to meet the people


that I did. They were a thoughtful bunch of guys. The guys heard this


gunfire breaking out and they all jumped in their cars and went down


there. It was as if we were going to the supermarket or something. We


got out of the car in the middle of a firefight. They are attacking us


and tried to come here. So now we are defending and trying to attack


them. We're waiting for the commander. They would stand in


government troops and we were lucky not to be shelled. They did things


like that all the time. I think when you're filming in a live


combat scenario, often once you're in it then fear goes out of your


mind. You are just concentrating on staying in as much cover as you can


all the time. Not trying to sacrifice your own safety too much


for no reason. Even the forward aid station is a target. A medical


student is one of his main characters. He tends to the wounded


under constant shellfire. You have to stay here. There is no place


after the making of this film. He was driving was drivingpeople to


hospital. What upsets me is the difficulty of filming people while


they are suffering. You may film someone who is dying. It may turn


out, in your own mind, that your camera lens is the last thing that


More remarkable footage from Misrata. The features a award goes


to the Spanish team of Ricardo Garcia and and his cameraman. They


provided an startling account of the city under siege. Ricardo and


Alberto enter the port on board a supply s supply ship charted by the rebels.


bombardment. The fuel depot has been hit by missiles fired by the


regime. lose the city, they will kill the


people. By daylight, Ricardo and D'Alberto find the debris of war


all round. You are there. You are you ant


The two men The two men The two men filming as they follow rebel forces.


These men, many of them office and shop workers, are new to war and


Covering combat is harrowing business and from the moment they


arrive, the fighting is non-stop. togeth


As the rebels conduct house-to- regime, the team capture a moment


of farce. But the brutality of Now, a special award for global


impact. One of the first journalists journaliststhe Syrian


government ban on foreign media. It is October 2011. Posing as tourists,


they enter the country under cover. As soon as the army is out, the


people are back on the street. They're fearless. Nothing will stop


them. They go to meet with longot


long before we found ourselves in one of the worst possible case


scenarios. Within just a few hours, we started hear reports that the


army had surrounded the town we to door searching for activist, the


safe house does not feel very safe. A woman in the hallway is pleading


for her son's life. It really was an emotional roller-coaster. While


we were in hiding, we heard the militia smashing doors, breaking


windows, taking people from neighbouring houses. While we were


lucky, unfo lucky, unfo, others were not.


Next: Safa Al-Ahmade, a Saudi national who managed to get


extraordinary footage of Al-Qaeda Iraqi reporter and they posed as


husband and wife. Their mission is to capture the real story behind


the rise of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian peninsula. When I saw the flag, and


I had previously seen guys crucified, I was wondering it is


this what is going to happen to us. Did you see that? Two guys with the


flag of Al-Qaeda. They're fighters from different countries but it is


risky to spend too much time with Al-Qaeda. There are obvious dangers


does not what you to go into the Al-Qaeda area. You always risk


arrest by government or arrest by Al-Qaeda because they might decide


Wearing a burqa makes it difficult to film. It was physically


challenging. I had to find the to offend anyone, but it made it


really difficult to see. scariest moment is what happens


after this. They're both blindfolded and taken to film


prisoners Al-Qaeda is holding but guards.


guards. The leader decided I had filmed the guards. He took the tape


and asked me to rewind it. You think, maybe I got someone by


the tape and they watched it. And I'm standing there going... They


may not return us. They might kidnap us. That was, I think, the


closest moment when I decided maybe we filmed something we should not


misrepresent them. I think we were honest about what we saw. We showed


all sides. A distressi A distressit of impact on


war on the people of Sudan's Nuba Mountains has won the Sony Impact


Award. Daniel Bogado uncovers a largely hidden war where thousands


have been forced to live in caves. For Daniel and reporter, Aidan


mountains virtually cut off from the outside world. We knew the most


dangerous part was going in. It was fighting between both sides. We saw


dead bodies along the path. It was trench warfare. Their guides are


rebels fighting with government forces of President Omar Hassan Al-


Bashir. Aircraft's drop bombs daily. It is not long before they come


under attack. The most dangerous moment was when we were travelling


with the escort. Suddenly, everybody stopped. At that moment,


I did not know what was happening so I followed my colleague and we


out there was a jet fighter and the somewhere in the vicinity. At the


moment I was thinking, film everything. Keep the camera on and


keep filming. Tens of thousands of civilians have been forced to take


refuge in caves to avoid the fighting and bombings. They meet a


woman whose husband joined the rebels and her family has been


living in a cave for months. can see two and three year-old


children, babies. It is a very real danger. The psychological effects


on the population, on the young population, it must be absolutely


terrible. The children attend school in a clearing. Daniel thinks


he's going to get pictures of kids trying to maintain aaintain a


under constant threat. He is shocked by what happens next.


thought we would speak to the teachers, talk to the children and


go away. And then, while they're singing the national anthem, I


could see one of the children looking up, they stopped singing,


many looked up and you could see the fear in their face. You have


haveou have a bomber plane threatening to


bomb them. They were running into the caves where they were living.


That for me summarizes what is happening. There is another


insidious danger - starvation. What is the problem here with this


little girl? She is suffering from subsisting on one meal a day. The


Some of the most dramatic video of the year has been brought to us by freelance journalists covering hostile environments around the world. Firing Line pays tribute to an international field of nominees in the 2012 Rory Peck Awards.

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