Editors are looking for other ways to cover the war in Afghanistan, following the death of Sunday Mirror journalist Rupert Hamer – according to The Independent’s Kim Sengupta.
But he says he can see no option to embedding for war reporters.
Sengupta writes: “There is apprehension among some journalists that the Government may try to use Mr Hamer’s death to restrict access to the frontline through the military. No 10 did its best to keep the media out of southern Iraq prior to the handover of Basra to local administration in the hope that its line that the place was safe and stable – when in fact it was being overrun by militias – would go unchallenged….
He quotes Thomas Harding of the Daily Telegraph who says: “Surely it would be an insult to the memory of Rupert Hamer for us to stop covering the war from the frontline?
“I think it’s essential that we are where the soldiers are, following in their footsteps, showing what they’re facing in Helmand. It’s because we do build up a rapport with them in such places that we can expose things which went wrong in the past such as lack of equipment. I have had lots of embeds in the last five years, and that’s the way I would like to continue. I believe that stopping us from being with the troops would be a victory for the Taliban.”
Yesterday, the Sunday Mirror published a tribute issue dedicated to Rupert Hamer in which photographer Phil Coburn has spoken for the first time about the incident in which he was seriously injured and in which Hamer was killed.