Paul Conroy: “War journalists must avoid being used as propaganda”
The acclaimed war photographer spoke at the Cheltenham Literature Festival about the changing impact of journalism in conflict.
Journalists have a bigger influence on how war is perceived than in years gone by.
Discussing how journalists and photographers cover wars and the pressures they are under, Conroy, who covered Syria with Sunday Times journalist Marie Colvin, said: “Everything is in the instant now, battles have been influenced by the immediacy of information.”
The acclaimed war photographer, who also covered the Balkan conflicts, said it was now impossible for journalists to switch from being with one side to covering the other side of a conflict. It had been possible in the 1990s, but this was no longer the case.
Because of this journalists had to be wary of how they might be used to put forward a biased or inaccurate picture. “What we realised was that you are open to be used for propaganda. What you have to do is double check and get eye witness accounts.”