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Photographers, correspondents put their lives on the line

Readers may be interested in my Sunday column on photographers and reporters who work overseas, covering conflict and its ramifications. Former Spokesman-Review colleague Holly Pickett shares her views on why their work is so vital to keeping the world informed on what's happening.

Journalist takes risks to ‘witness and inform’

Pickett Knew Slain French Journalist

A French photographer who was killed Wednesday in Syria was a close friend and associate of Butte native Holly Pickett, she said in an email. Pickett, a freelance photojournalist living in Cairo, said she worked with Remi Ochlik in Tunisia, Egypt, Morocco and Libya and one time the two had to run from gun fire. "He was very brave and very much wanted to cover these important stories," Pickett said Wednesday in an email from New York City, where she's working. "He cared very deeply for the people he photographed and for his other colleagues." Ochlik, 28, was killed in Homs when Syrian forces bombarded the city/Nick Gevock, Butte Standard. More here. (In this photo by Niels Hougaard, Jyllands-posten, Holly Pickett is shown covering a revolution in Tunis, Tunisia)

Question: Do you ever think of the cost that some journalists & photojournalists pay to cover the news around the world?

Ex-SR Staffer Saw Gadhafi’s Body


Holly Pickett takes pictures in the Gaza strip in January of 2009. The Butte native has been a photojournalist in the Middle East for the past three years based in Cairo, Egypt. (Ben Curtis AP Photo)

A Butte woman may have been the first Westerner to see former Libya dictator Moammar Gadhafi's dead body.  Photojournalist Holly Pickett raced to the ambulance carrying his bullet-riddled body Thursday.  "I was a little afraid that this would turn into another undocumented rumor. That's why I chased the ambulance with Gaddafi's body," Pickett wrote on her Twitter page. Shortly after noon Thursday, Pickett was in a residential area behind a field hospital when an ambulance carrying Gadhafi's body raced past her. "We chased," she tweeted. "All I could think when I found out they had Gaddafi was, 'I am the only journalist who knows what happened. I have to get a photo'"/Kristen Inbody, Great Falls Tribune. More here.

Question: Would you have the courage to cover revolutions in far-flung countries?

Holly Pickett In Libya: War Is Over

Holly Pickett, former Spokesman-Review photographer who saw Moammar Gaddafi's body Thursday, just tweeted: "I am in #Misrata and the front-line medics just celebrated because the field hospital was dismantled and returned from #Sirte. War is over." You can follow her other tweets on this compelling day here.

Ex-SR Photographer Saw Gadhafi Body

Former Spokesman-Review photographer Holly Pickett was on the scene today in Libya when rebels killed long-time dictator Moammar Gadhafi. She saw Gadhafi's body. And has been documenting what happened to the fallen leader via Twitter. Latest two tweets: "Not sure where 's body went. It must have been to a very secure location. I think Misratans may have torn him to shreds." And: "I meant Misratans would tear him to shreds if the body wasn't closely guarded." You can follow her Twitter here (latest tweet on top).

Question: Can you imagine how courageous Holly is?

AM: Butte Native Covers Combat

Holly Pickett, a Butte native and former Spokesman-Review photographer, has been covering events throughout the Middle East, including the revolution in Tunis, Tunisia. SR columnist Shawn Vestal writes about his amazing former colleague today here. You can see how dangerous her assignments were by this news today that two top-notch photojournalist have been killed in Libya here. (Photo: Niels Hougaard)