Australian journalist and writer Phillip Knightley meticulously documents the habits of war reporters for the past sesquicentenary of world conflicts.
As the title indicates, The First Casualty From the Crimea to the Falklands: The War Correspondent as Hero, Propagandist and Myth Maker, chronicles the trials and tribulations of Western war journalists on the front line of the most significant conflicts all around the world.
Although what the title does not indicate is the incessant degree of government cencorship that has plaguedÂ correspondents in the theatre of war.
The book also serves as a stark reminder of the sacrifices many journalists made (and do to this day) to bring people news about war.
The first casualty of war may be truth, but the truth usually surfaces in time. And it is very interesting to see how many archaic methods of shielding reporters from the battlefield have not progressed much as we witness modern conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq.
I look forward to reading more of Knightley’s work after The First Casualty.