This job, most times, is far too easy.
Many people who “do news” these days sit behind a computer, waiting for others to report something fresh from the ground, a juicy piece of information we can repurpose, sensationalize and pimp out across the web.
We feed off people like Richard Engel, NBC’s Chief Foreign Correspondent. We need the Engels to risk their lives, so we can block quote three grafs, add an insightful sentence and call ourselves People Who Talked About Syria.
Engel, who along with his production team was kidnapped by rebels at a checkpoint and held captive for five days, has been freed (there was a brief controversy about whether it was okay to report on his kidnapping). Even his safe return and homecoming shows why we need brave, daring curious souls like Engel to make it easier for us to display and consume news.
Here’s Engel on the Today Show:
“After being kidnapped and held for five days inside Syria by an unknown group, NBC News Chief Foreign Correspondent Richard Engel and his production crew members have been freed unharmed. We are pleased to report they are safely out of the country,” the network said in a statement.
“It is good to be here,” Engel said during a live appearance on TODAY from Turkey. “I’m very happy that we’re able to do this live shot this morning.”
Engel said that they were traveling with Syrian rebels when a group of about 15 gunmen “jumped out the trees and bushes” and captured them.
He said the gunmen executed one of the rebels “on the spot,” and later during their captivity they were subjected to mock executions while blindfolded and bound.
Here’s what appears to be video of Engel and other journalists being held:
UPDATE: YouTube took down the video.
Read his full account, if only to admire the sack this guy has.