GUEST LECTURE BY FRENCH INTERNATIONAL WAR CORRESPONDENT, PATRICE VANONI
September 25, 2014
Patrice Vanoni, an international reporter and correspondent for French TV, on 25th Sept 2014 in a session in ILEAD Topsia, shared his experience as war correspondant , having been reporting from frontlines and terrorist areas across the world for three decades of his career.
A seminar full of Media Students listened amazed as this 55 year old reporter, in his attractive French dialect, unwrapped an intriguing details about his coverage of the famine in Somalia and the Islamic rebels in Ethiopia. As thrilling it might seem, but being a war correspondent has its own snags and risks. "I feared for my life, especially at the random checkpoints set up by groups of drunken ribels," he said while recapitulating the assignments at Liberia and Seirra Leone during the early 90s. Being a veteran, Vanoni took a picture of himself with the rebel leader and made him write a letter saying the former was not a spy and had to be allowed through checkpoints. It gave everyone goosebumps when he said that a rebel cheif shot two young men in front of him for having stolen the medication meant for them.
He said, in those days there was no Internet, mobile phones and technology like today. There was only a cameraman, a sound technician and heavy equipments which were difficult to carry. Though technology has advanced, the terrorist scenarios have worsened with increasing number of abduction and murder of journalists. But he still emboldened the young aspirants to rise up to the challenges they might face in their career as journalists.