Am I Dead Yet?: 71 Countries, 36 War Zones, One Man's Opinion

John Scully, Author
John Scully, Author Fitzhenry & Whiteside $26.95 (211p) ISBN 978-1-55455-090-6
Reviewed on: 03/31/2008
Release date: 04/01/2008
Open Ebook - 978-0-595-87037-0
Paperback - 124 pages - 978-0-595-42707-9
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Blunt and funny, long-time TV journalist Scully gives a thought-provoking overview of his career, covering dozens of countries and a double-handful of war zones (including many excursions into Lebanon), to provide a damning close-up of terrorism, the fight against terrorism and the problems of covering it all. In between graphic, harrowing tales of conflict (many of Scully's media colleagues have died on the job), he delivers strong opinions on the U.S. government's actions, especially the recent practice of ""embedding"" reporters in military units: ""military controlled what the media saw, when they saw it, and how they reported it."" He looks at regional elections in Colombia and Contras in Nicaragua, is almost executed in El Salvador and suffers gastric distress in India, reflecting chillingly throughout on the necessity of witness: ""Why do we go to morgues? To judge levels of ferocity and violence and to confirm... how many did or did not die that night."" Though he includes some happier tales of camaraderie and bureaucratic absurdity, Scully is serious about reporters' ""almost sacrosanct duty to get to the truth""; this satisfying journey is a sharp critique of modern journalism and a wise tribute to its continuing importance: ""Truth is what divides democracies from dictatorships.""
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