Reporting from the heart of the war
By Francesca Borri
Published bySeven Stories
Price [pounds sterling]12.99 paperback
From the middle of ravaged Aleppo, a freelance journalist describes the chaos of war, the uncertainty of freelance life and the particular challenges of being a woman reporting from a warzone.
21 August 2013: a chemical weapons attack on the suburbs of Damascus reminds the world of the existence of the Syrian war. Hundreds of journalists from every corner of the world rush to the frontier only to leave disappointed when Obama decides not to bomb. They leave behind 200,000 estimated victims, and more than half of a population of 22 million people dispersed or refugeed in nearby countries: the worst humanitarian crisis since WWII according to the UN. Francesca Borri is one of the journalists. But she does not leave. She is 30 years old. For months she covers the battle of Aleppo as a freelance reporter. And she quickly realises that to report a war is to hide with dozens of women and children--even a baby, born there--in a grave, 'a piece of soil under the ground that is as expensive as three houses'; or to scavenge for anything to...