2012 The Firing Line


2012

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

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

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

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places. We heard the militia smashing doors, breaking windows

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

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

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

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

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

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so men are wrapped in white shrouds. people

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taken at great risk in remote and window

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

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

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the year. All shot by freelance video journalists.

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

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freelance journalists nominated in the categories of the Rory Peck

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

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

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

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

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winners. of London went up in flames in the

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summer of 2011, Jason Parkinson captured the widespread rioting

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

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situation quickly deteriorates, Jason rushes to the north of the

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

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

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

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were reports of journalists being attacked. From Tottenham the unrest

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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police lines. Stories from the Middle East

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feature prominently in these awards. Footage from Egypt earned Roddy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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chaos, his main concern is staying forces

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You can say that they would shoot energised.

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

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outside world. The winner of the filmed

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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assignment. I was terrified, like zone.

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

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

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

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judges judges said that it was the unique

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combination of combat footage and interviews that set his footage

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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revolution and the chaotic aftermath. Over the course of one

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year, they follow three young people from different backgrounds.

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

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

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

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There were times during filming that they were suspected of being

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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spends three weeks at embedded with a group of Libyan opposition

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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More remarkable footage from Misrata. The features a award goes

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

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

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

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

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regime. lose the city, they will kill the

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

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all round. You are there. You are you ant

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

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

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Covering combat is harrowing business and from the moment they

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arrive, the fighting is non-stop. togeth

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

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

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impact. One of the first journalists journaliststhe Syrian

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

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

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

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them. They go to meet with longot

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

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

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

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

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

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

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windows, taking people from neighbouring houses. While we were

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lucky, unfo lucky, unfo, others were not.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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really difficult to see. scariest moment is what happens

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

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prisoners Al-Qaeda is holding but guards.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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all sides. A distressi A distressit of impact on

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

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Award. Daniel Bogado uncovers a largely hidden war where thousands

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

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

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

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

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rebels fighting with government forces of President Omar Hassan Al-

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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woman whose husband joined the rebels and her family has been

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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haveou have a bomber plane threatening to

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

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That for me summarizes what is happening. There is another

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

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

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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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